Much like cyclists, it’s the 98% of beach fishermen that give the other 2% a bad name. The beaches of Cape Agulhas are hugely popular with beach fishermen because of the rich variety of fish to be found there. Consequently, the beaches of Cape Agulhas are also hugely littered with the detritus from this pastime, because of the rich variety of beach fishermen to be found there.
I recently posted this photograph of the literally miles of fishing line that we picked up on a quick walk along the beach in Suiderstrand.
And the fact is that we could have gone back and done it again the following day. Or walked the other way along the beach and collected the same amount again. The waste from casual beach fishermen is ubiquitous, and by far the biggest polluter of our local shores.
But it doesn’t end there. Fishing is a communal activity, and that sort of communal activity in South Africa demands some sort of liquid accompaniment. Thus beer cans and brandy bottles are also left all over the rocks, clearly it being far too much effort to pop them back into the bag you brought them in and drop them into the bin back at the parking lot before you illegally weave your way home.
But it doesn’t end there, either. Because a day out on the beach with plenty of brandy can really get the metabolism going, and so the local dunes are littered with piles of human excrement and bog roll. Never have the services of the local puff adder population been more in demand. One bite on the balls of a crouching miscreant would surely see a massive and immediate drop in this disgusting behaviour.
I recognise that I’m not painting a particularly pretty picture of the area, which is sad, because it is a particularly pretty area. I’m just tired of it being ruined by dirty, lazy, uncaring fishermen, especially when the facilities which mean that all of this sort of behaviour is completely unnecessary, are right there next to where they parked their cars.
And, as ever, SANParks and the local law enforcement are impotent and invisible. Try flying your drone in the National Park though (no, I haven’t) and they’d be all over you like an aggressive lichen.
Right. I’m done. I’ll be clearing up some more fishing line off the beach this weekend, and I’m going to keep this soapbox safely here in case I need to get back on it at some time in the near future.
Which will inevitably happen.