Zandvlei estuary fish off limits

2012-04-17 19:30

Cape Town - People should not collect or consume fish washing out in the Zandvlei estuary in Cape Town, the fisheries department said on Tuesday.

Spokesperson Lionel Adendorf said the fish were not fit for human consumption. They were washing out because of low oxygen levels, caused by an algal bloom.

He said the bloom had been present for the last six weeks and was caused by stormwater runoff from nearby areas as well as sewerage overflow.

"It is estimated that, since the first washout was recorded last month, more than five tons of harders - which is the most abundant species in the system - and other mullet species like kob, white steenbras, garrick (leervis), elf or springers have washed out."

He warned the public that it was illegal to collect any of these species as garrick and white steenbras were protected and could not be sold, while kob and slingers were biologically vulnerable.

He said anyone caught with fish and no permit could be fined up to R500 per fish.

  • Ted - 2012-04-17 20:24

    R500 a fish? Sounds like being found with a banned substance. They are looking for people picking dead fish yet they neglect to adequately fund the hunting down of rhino \r\npoachers!

  • pws69 - 2012-04-17 20:47

    "He said the bloom had been present for the last six weeks and was caused by stormwater runoff from nearby areas as well as sewerage overflow." SEWERAGE OVERFLOW???? What the F......? Please explain why this even occurs.

      jaccil - 2012-04-19 08:47

      The same thing occurs all over the country in our precious estuaries. In the past 2 decades, it has happened three times at Hartenbos that toxins from the sewage plant got dumped and killed all fish in the river. There is an algae bloom in the Botriver estuary too, possibly due to agricultural waste flowing into the river. By building damns and marinas, and taking lots of water from our smaller rivers, the estuaries' natural states are restricted. They are artificially opened and closed because nature can no longer do this job that it has done since creation. As with most things in SA, the government bodies responsible are doing a pathetic job at managing these precious resources on which many species, including the protected garrick and white steenbras depend. The state of our rivers is pathetic and even more so the water quality in False Bay. Have a look at all the crap flowing into the bay, from our polluted streams like the Lourens river (Strand) to the sewage drains at Macassar. Go have a look (smell) at the quality of the sea water at Macassar - absolutely FILTHY! I'm not sure whether it is entirely safe to eat any fish residing in False Bay anymore.

  • Tim - 2012-04-17 20:51

    Oh so the fish are just dying for lack of oxygen but at the same time they are not fit for human consumption? Yes right I understand that. Just like I understand that the fish are supposed to be migrating at this time of year but we decide to keep the vlei blocked off from the sea. You can get fined R500 for being in posession of fish but the authorities don't get any censure for allowing thousands of them to die. You couldn't make this up could you? This is the first time I have seen any admission of sewerage overflow. Lie lie lie, you can't believe a word spoken.

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