Sunday, May 18, 2014

Fish Forced to Spawn in Lake

St Lucia Estuary
iSimangaliso Wetlands Park

In 2000 The Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park entered a prolonged drought cycle and the Authorities mechanically closed the mouth to trap valuable fresh water in the system to keep salinity stable and protect the Hippo and Crocodiles against hyper saline conditions.

This lead to the drying up of the upper regions of the Lake and Thousands of Marine species perished. For years the decaying smell of marine life hung over False Bay, Fanies Island and Charters Creek.

In 2007 a storm surge created by tropical storm Gumede opened The Estuary Mouth briefly and ocean water did not significantly raise the water levels in the upper regions of the Lake. The storms surge was so high that it almost devastated Durban's Golden Mile beach front and the damages done on the South Coast has not been repaired yet.

At the end of the 175 days of healthy functioning the Authorities closed the St Lucia Estuary Mouth once again entrap breading stock inside the Estuary for another five years. This management decision lead to the total collapse of the prawn population on the Tugela shelve.

With no tidal movement in the Estuary the Mangrove Swamps has been water locked and are now infiltrated with fresh water specie vegetation like Acacia Species. Fresh water reeds and low energy flow has made this once pristine Estuary into a hunting ground for poachers fishing with gill nets harvesting the remainder of the breeding stocks from the system.

Once again the Recreational Angler Fishing for Fun and Fresh fish has to take the brunt of poor management decisions. Local Anglers are all agreeing to the fact that specie breeding habits has been altered and declining populations in the oceans of these species is trapped inside a man made fresh water pond.

This threatens a Sport with proven massive income potential World Wide and impacts on many thousands of Families which substitutes its protein source from recreational catches.

With current implementation of park rule 06/2011 that prohibits Recreational anglers only from bottom fishing one can make the deduction that manipulation of The Estuary Mouth is blatantly to invoke the demise of this World Recognized Out Door Sport and impacting on a valuable Job creation and subsistence fishing.

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