NO fish farm here!

If you live in and around Port Elizabeth, chances are you have heard about the proposed development of fish farms within Algoa bay. Probably one of the biggest ‘cons’ that has resulted in many fighting this development is the fact that such systems are likely to attract predatory species – yes, it is likely that the fish farm development will attract a high percentage of sharks to our Blue flag beaches. Beaches that attract tourists, host local, national and international competitions and as a result bring jobs and money into our municipality. 

But, let’s be honest, how many of us have had the thought “oh yes, more sharks in the bay” cross our minds. Especially after all the shark action we saw last year at the sardine run and the insane bronzie fishing we experienced locally last summer (yes, winter is upon us and summer is officially a thing of the past). But it’s not as positive for fisherfolk as it may appear at first. 

Risks associated with setups such as the one that has been proposed for Algoa Bay include, but are not limited to the following; potential introduction of disease to wild fish populations, attraction of predators, introduction of ghost tackle & aquaculture species due to high seas and rough conditions, negatively affect marine traffic, have negative influences on cetacean populations as well as our local African Penguin colony, as well as potential degradation of water quality due to nutrient loading. All of which in the greater scheme of things will only have detrimental effects on our local marine life and subsequently our fishing! 

We took part in the “NO to Fish Farms in Algoa Bay” protest over the weekend and we were overwhelmed by the support. Swimmers, kayakers, divers, boaters, walkers – all coming together to support Port Elizabeths beautiful bay. The protest began at Hobie beach and ended on the beach in Humewood, where the memorandum was handed over to Mervyn Brouard (WESSA EC Chairperson). 

We would just like to say a special thank you to the people who took part in putting together this event as well as to everyone who showed up to support. If you missed it, its not too late to voice your opinion. There are the following options available to you: 

  1. Get your view and pic’s onto social media and use #sharethebay and #noDAFFfishyfarm
  2. Sign the petition – “No to Fish Fams in Algoa Bay. Yes to rehabilitating the Swartkops Estuary”. It literally takes a minute!
  3. Register as and Interested & Affected Party (I&AP) with Anchor Environmental (the consultants doing the assessment) at info@anchorenvironmental.co.za and let them know how the fish farms will impact our Bay’s ecosystem.
  4. Let your local (municipal) councillor know how you feel:- Ward 60 (Bluewater Bay to St Georges Strand): ward60@mandelametro.gov.za , Ward 15 (North of PE Harbour): ward15@mandelametro.gov.za , Ward 02 (Kings Beach to Hobie beach): ward2@mandelametro.gov.za , Ward01 (Pollock beach to Cape Recife): ward1@mandelametro.gov.za 

For more information on the fish farms head on over to the Anchor Environmental.  You can also follow Algoa Bay Hope Spot and Zwartkops Conservancy on Facebook to see any upcoming events! 

“INDIVIDUALLY WE ARE ONE DROP BUT TOGETHER WE ARE AN OCEAN” – Ryunosuke Satoro

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