Readi­ness to deal with fuel spill ques­tioned

The Herald (South Africa) - - LEISURE - WAYNE RUDMAN wl­rud­man@mweb.co.za

SOME time ago, I men­tioned the bulk off­shore fuel trans­fer­ring be­ing con­ducted in the bay and the po­ten­tial spill haz­ards that threaten the pris­tine eco-sys­tem that the area sup­ports.

Guy Rogers’s front page ar­ti­cle in The Her­ald yes­ter­day raised this po­ten­tial dis­as­ter and the im­pli­ca­tions that would sur­round such an event.

Fuel is trans­ferred 24/7 and so the like­li­hood of a spill is not far­fetched.

The ques­tion I ask, is how pre­pared are we to han­dle such a dis­as­ter?

Onto an­other topic, the Gam­toos An­gling Club has just com­pleted an­other very suc­cess­ful Gam 1 000 an­gling com­pe­ti­tion. This an­nual event is now based on a mea­sur­ing sys­tem and all fish en­tered have to be re­leased.

In all, there were 223 com­peti­tors with 15 women and 28 ju­niors tak­ing part. A to­tal of 74 fish were caught with Corne Brent catch­ing the big­gest – a kob of 136cm, weigh­ing 26.9kg.

Eu­gene van Rooyen re­ceived the prize of R10 000 for the to­tal length of fish re­leased. Among the fish were 34 grunter, 22 kob and a few non-ed­i­bles.

In the past th­ese com­pe­ti­tions were seen as “sys­tem clean-outs” as vast amounts of fish were re­moved in one bulk ac­tion.

This ap­proach of mea­sure-and-re­lease which is now well sup­ported by the light tackle boat­ing and rock and surf an­gling fra­ter­ni­ties on our es­tu­ar­ies and coasts, has changed the im­age of sport an­gling com­pletely.

The loss of some an­gling spots, such as Bird Rock, has raised eye­brows of late. The re-think of the lo­ca­tion and prac­tice of the fish farms has also been a step in the right di­rec­tion.

This brings me back to the fuel-dis­pens­ing op­er­a­tion con­ducted in the bay. Should it not be re­con­sid­ered? Look­ing beyond our bor­ders, Larry Keogh, a friend of mine, is an­gling in Tan­za­nia off Mafia Is­land at present, where he landed a giant trevally in the week. This mag­nif­i­cent 56kg fish (weight by mea­sure­ment) is a sought-af­ter game fish that does not oc­cur in our wa­ters off Port El­iz­a­beth.

Be­cause of their char­ac­ter­is­tic ro­bust fight­ing be­hav­iour they have lured an­glers to the sub-trop­i­cal wa­ters where they are found in rel­a­tive abun­dance.

They pre­fer the warm water re­gions of both coasts of Africa and are caught with both ar­ti­fi­cial and nat­u­ral baits – truly an un­for­get­table ex­pe­ri­ence.

An­gling in the bay has seen a few large kob come out which is an an­nual oc­cur­rence at this time of year.

Th­ese “hun­dred pounders” are also breed­ers that should be re­leased where pos­si­ble. How­ever, they are be­ing tar­geted by some for ill-got­ten gains.

My guess is that once the east has blown out and the west­erly pre­vails for the rest of the week, we are in for some good an­gling with the ad­vance on the dark moon spring tide.

This week­end we see a neap tide with the low at 5.25am to­mor­row and a fresh east­erly wind turn west on Sun­day for the week ahead. We look to­wards the dark moon next Fri­day hav­ing just ex­pe­ri­enced the last quar­ter-moon phase yes­ter­day.

There is an above-av­er­age prospect for an­gling in the week ahead, I think.

WHAT A BEAUTY!: An­gling in Tan­za­nia off Mafia Is­land at present, Larry Keogh landed this giant trevally

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