Shark warning for False Bay beaches

2012-03-29 12:43

Cape Town - Bathers have been warned of a possible increase in the number of sharks at False Bay beaches on Thursday because of high fish activity, the City of Cape Town said.

Large schools of yellowtail fish had been spotted along the coastline in the morning, which could attract sharks, disaster risk management spokesperson Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said.

Red flags, which indicated a high shark alert, had been raised at all beaches in the bay. Bathers were advised to be vigilant, obey the shark siren, and take note of a change in flags.

Shark spotters were watching the coastline.

Tensions mount

Meanwhile, Zigzag surfing magazine reports that a storm is brewing between Muizenberg beachgoers and local fishermen after the fishermen pulled out a trek net in the middle of bathers and surfers at the popular Surfer's Corner on Thursday morning.

It is the third time in less than a month that the fishermen have driven onto the beach and cast their nets from the busy shoreline, Zigzag said. The previous two incidents resulted in the beach being closed when the shark alarm was sounded shortly after the nets were pulled in.

The magazine says local surfers are up in arms over what many view as a direct danger to their lives, as they believe this could lure great whites directly to them. Along with the potential shark factor, it's also claimed the nets are dangerous because there are no buoys or markers to warn bathers/surfers, and this also contravenes Blue Flag Beach rules.

The fishermen apparently claim to have an ancestral permit that allows them to trek fish in False Bay, but there is little clarity on the details and regulations of the permit.

"We've been fishing here for 300 years, the surfers only came later," insisted one of the fisherman who would only give his name as Alfie. "When we follow the fish, the surfers and swimmers must make way for us, and then there will be no more problems."

Local surfer and business owner Ant Scholte, however, was not convinced: "Surely their permit - or any permit - could not condone any kind of fishing among all the bathers and surfers in the most populated part of the beach?"

A spokesperson for the Muizenberg Improvement District said investigations after the first incident earlier in March had found that "the trek net permit is valid". She added that "it seems ancestral rights over-rule Blue Flag Status".

Resident and business owners have demanded a meeting with authorities who issue the permits, which has been scheduled for 14:00 on Thursday at the Civic Centre in Muizenberg.

- Sapa and Zigzag

  • Squeegee - 2012-03-29 13:12

    Sounds fishy..

  • Squeegee - 2012-03-29 13:13

    Lots of Sharks in Stormers territory...

      joeballito - 2012-03-29 13:35


      OiVey - 2012-03-29 14:16

      Good One :-)

  • Peter-Peter - 2012-03-29 13:13

    oh for *** they are meddling with the life of surfers?? ancestral se g*t!

      Peter-Peter - 2012-03-29 14:22

      Let them try come to Long Beach...we'l moer them to the point they give up fishing

  • Maarten - 2012-03-29 13:31

    "They" have been fishing there for 300 years? Now that is what I call a busy "old timer"!

      alexander.lombard - 2012-03-29 14:28

      I wonder if they had nets and vehicles 300 years ago. Maybe if they used ancestral Methods everyone will be pleased.

  • Ben - 2012-03-29 13:40

    Rather have a fresh piece of yellow tail on my plate than a surfboard...

      Peter-Peter - 2012-03-29 13:43

      each one to his own...i prefer some fibreglass with a dash of salt

      Ben - 2012-03-29 13:49

      Well Peter-Peter, guess the sharks win by a century or two. It is their natural habitat I've been told.

      Peter-Peter - 2012-03-29 13:51


  • ruth.sacco - 2012-03-29 13:43

    Can you imagine! They want to feed their families and we want fun! How dare they interfere with us with such trivial nonsense !

      Chris - 2012-03-29 13:49

      We'll put that on your tombstone after you've drowned by getting caught in a fish net you didn't know was there.

      ruth.sacco - 2012-03-29 16:24

      Well Chris. One of my super powers is being able to see under water. Another super power is a damn good swimmer so if you wish me dead – alas it must be of a different method. Life is really rough enough and when our families well being is at stake it does let loose the hounds. They fish a couple times a year in comparison and we can have our fun without denying an age old method of ‘bringing home the bacon’. When you are all big and have kids you’ll understand better.

  • Hermann - 2012-03-29 14:00

    "ancestral" spirits in a bottle sounds about right, yes.

  • tracey.baard - 2012-03-29 14:24

    "it seems ancestral rights over-rule Blue Flag Status". That's just leaving the door open to all sorts of claims. What's next?

      Squeegee - 2012-03-29 15:58

      Donkey riding on the highway? Staying in power for life?

  • bluzulu - 2012-03-29 14:25

    mmmmm which is more important, Fish to feed my family and remain a contributing member of RSA society ...OR.... Fun in the sun ,surfing my life away?

  • amanda - 2012-03-29 14:47

    "Ancestral rights" my eye. This is a new one. Sounds more like civil disobedience to me.

      Chris - 2012-03-29 15:21

      300 years ago there was no such thing as "civil disobedience".

  • amanda - 2012-03-29 15:18

    @ watchman you are rude uncouth and ignorant. Did you not see on the news that the fishermen are defying a ban on fishing crayfish on the West Coast. I would also call that civil disobedience.

  • amanda - 2012-03-29 15:30

    @ chris And 300 years ago there was only a very very small population around. Do you think it is right that one group should impose (force) their fishing rights willy nilly on everyone. Think about it. Are you saying that everyone must just bugger off out of the water every time the fisherman decide to gooi their nets.

      Chris - 2012-03-29 15:59

      @Amanda, lighten up, I was being humorous by making the point that a lot has changed over the last 300 years... over your head it seems.

      Squeegee - 2012-03-29 16:01

      Three hundred years ago my ancestors were shooting for the pot. Can I now claim the right to hunt in Kruger?

  • Jayson - 2012-03-29 15:38

    Have you ever seen a yellow tail surfing?? Well he is the one that's trying to get away from those darn pesky nets.

  • amanda - 2012-03-29 15:47

    @ jason Lol. Actually I saw the yellow tail this morning and thought that they were dolphins. Very large schools indeed. I have a good view over False Bay.

      Jayson - 2012-03-29 15:54

      You are so lucky Amanda. Here in gauteng we just have smog to look at.

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