Saturday, May 30, 2009

Specie Relocation - Invader or survivors?

The Sanitizing of ships ballast water is becoming a big International controversy. To understand the hype behind the war of words is to understand the relocation of Large  Mouth Bass. I never payed much attention until a local angler told me a story about a 20l water container filled to the brim with sea water that washed out on the beach in the Southern Regions of The iSimangaliso Wetlands Park.

The King fish/Travelly inside the drum could net get out the same way it got in. The whole was a couple of months to small for the poor entrapped fish bopping around in the ocean. The poor fish was still alive when the container washed onto the beach in the region of St. Lucia Estuary. Some how the little predictor fed on unlucky visitors that landed in the container with him.

This made me think about the ballast water trapped in the Barges Scuttled North of Cape Vidal in the Marine Reserve. Human interference in the Wilderness Area and the Marine Reserve has been limited and strictly controlled until the area was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With the introduction of human made objects in such a sensitive area one asks the question .... was the ballast water inside the barges sanitized before their foreign content was introduced  to this sensitive eco-system.

Who will be responsible for the clean up of invading species ...
  1. The Barge owners relinquished their responsibilities
  2. The iSimangaliso Wetlands Park Authority protects this area on behalf of UNESCO
  3. UNESCO  - do they have enough control over the management of this World Heritage Site?
Well let us pray to all things Holly that the ballast water of those barges where sanitized before they where scuttled....... Or do we think Big Mouth Bass is a sport fishing indigenous to South Africa ...

by Petrus Viviers


  1. Anonymous7:23 PM

    What about all the invader trees still seeding on the edge of our beaches and estuary area?

    A so called pristine area badly neglected with thousands of new pine trees spoiling the sight.

    How can any conservationist stand the sight of this?

    Never difficult to spot the St Lucia coastline, just look for the invasive trees.

    Indian Mina's?

  2. Hi Anonymous,

    I had a team of well trained men ready to remove those Casaurina trees, but believe it that The Wetland Park Authority would not let me remove those trees for FREE and so create Jobs and Safe Indigenous Trees.