Sunday, May 18, 2014

St Francis Bay the solution

#St_Lucia_Estuary
iSimangaliso Wetlands Park

Since their is working models to base the management of St Lucia Estuary on. The fact that iSimangaliso Wetlands Park Authority has declared their intention in 2005 to trademark their product and their request to transfer the property rights from South Africa Government into the name of iSimangaliso Wetlands Park Authority begs the question what is the intention of miss management of the St Lucia Estuary Mouth.

Clearly it is no brain surgery on how to manage the system, why it is made such a big deal one looks at the banning of 4x4"s from St Lucia beaches and the allowance of 4x4's vehicle on Sodwana Beaches under the same management and Integrated Management Plan compounded with the one sided implementation of Park Rule 06/2014, which over rides The Marine and Coastal Living Resources Act one wonders if it is far fetched if The once great Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park is about to loose World Heritage Status.

It seems that management is moving into a scenario where Laws/Rules only benefit the role players? 

Petrus Viviers
0835847473
BBM Pin:2B84CDD7

Why Turn St Lucia into another Marina Martinique

#St_Lucia_Estuary
iSimangaliso Wetlands Park South Africa

With all my recent writing about St Lucia Estuary I have done a lot of soul searching and reading about the importance of Estuaries as Marine Nurseries.

The more I read the scarier the scenario has become. It is clear with the manipulation of the past 15 years of St Lucia Estuary and the occasional feeding of ocean water into the system it is clear that the path of least resistance will be followed and with the driving power of money behind the science we can see that monitoring and maneging nature has become a norm in line with so called World Best Practice.

Sadly it seems that we have lost a pristine Eco system to the prestige of World Heritage Status. The thousands of hectares that could provide sustainable protein to the traditional owners are no being turned into a land locked marine system in the likes of Marina Martinique.

This transformation will have a huge impact on more than 800km of coast line exposed migrating species.

What will become of the Heritage of our children if we do not oppose this now.

Petrus Viviers
0835847473
BBM Pin:2B84CDD7

Those where the Days

When Human interference balanced with man's Foot Print created by Sugar Cane Farming.

This was the time The Marine Nursery was at it's most healthy and biggest specie diversity was found in the system.

Petrus
Pin:2B84CDD7
petrusviv.bbm@gmail.com
0813427371
BBM Pin:2B84CDD7
Cell: 0813427371

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.

Petrus
Pin:2B84CDD7
petrusviv.bbm@gmail.com
0813427371
BBM Pin:2B84CDD7
Cell: 0813427371

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Tidal Channels vs World Heritage Status

St Lucia Estuary :
iSimangaliso Wetlands Park :

Richards Bay is one of South Africa's busiest harbors. Not only is it the deepest in the Southern Hemisphere it also boast the biggest bulk Exporting Terminal.

Like all other Harbors around the World this harbor was also carved into a Wetlands Basin thus destroying the Natural Habitat and Fish breeding and Nursing Grounds.

Yet Richards Bay Harbor functions better and more healthier as a Marine Nursery than World Famous ans declared Heritage Site, iSimangaliso Wetland Park.

Using Natures building blocks to scour the channel that the shipping vessels traverse through, Richards Bay relies on Dredging and Nature to help keep the harbor mouth open.

We all accept the fact that St Lucia Estuary Mouth will keep on closing. That is a given. Just like Richards Bay harbor. What we have to get our minds around is how invasive are we going to get to manage this closure and opening.

For the sake of Heritage og our Children and not the Status symbol that St Lucia Wetlands Park carry of the World we have to see this marine system functioning again and assist it through it's cycles.

The St Lucia system is 36 000 hectares and if managed properly it can be a great Tourist Attraction and supplier of protein to the families it still belongs to under Traditional treaties signed many generations ago.

Let no man dishonor the promises made by his/her ancestors. Let us set the Rich man's status aside and manage the resources to the advantage of all user groups so we all have equal shares in the spoils of this lovely and bounty full Natural Habitat

Petrus
Pin:2B84CDD7
petrusviv.bbm@gmail.com
0813427371
BBM Pin:2B84CDD7
Cell: 0813427371

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Death of an Eco System

St Lucia Estuary: Looking at the tree line of Mangrove's one can see the distinctive discoloration of death. North and South of The St Lucia Bridge on The Western Shores Mangrove Forest's are dying. Yet more and more Donations are given to manage the Estuary Mouth. Why??

Mangrove Forest has many function. One of these functions is sediment traps during tidal movement. When high tide pushes into the aerial routes the sediment is carried with the tide. As the tide turns it settles just before it starts draining back to the ocean.

Amongst the Mangrove swamps during neap tide, the small Frey of fish will seek refuge against predictors. Also amongst the swamp roots is the ever present fiddler crabs and Mangrove Welk's.

All this can only survive with tidal movement through an open Estuary mouth. Lost of these established Mangrove Swamps will be devastating since they are over run with Marsh Hibiscus. Once March Hibiscus has established they are backed with Acia Thorn Trees.

Another habitat lost for ever.

Petrus Viviers
0835847473
BBM Pin:2B84CDD7

The drainage of iMfolozi Flood Plains

IMfolozi water and sediments:

Agricultural development in the IMfolozi floodplain involved canalisation of the river and the removal of the wetland vegetation that slowed flood waters and filtered out sediment. Canalisation delays the overflow onto the floodplain from the main river channel, which means that more sediments are delivered to the mouth without the
trapping effects of the floodplain (figure 18).
www.isimangaliso.com

Petrus Viviers
0835847473
BBM Pin:2B84CDD7

Specie Collapse on Thukela Shelve


Loss of estuarine function: - The prolonged closures of the St Lucia estuary mouth have had a negative impact on the estuarine functioning of the estuary system. There has been a noticeable reduction in marine migrant fish species, such as the Natal stumpnose Rhabdosargus sarba, and the shallow water prawn fishery on the Thukela Banks has collapsed as St Lucia has ceased to function as a nursery for the shallow water prawn and other species (figure 22). www.isimangaliso.com

Petrus Viviers
0835847473
BBM Pin:2B84CDD7

The Scouring Effect

Richards Bay Harbor:
The Scouring effect:

When one have to keep a harbor mouth constantly open it is always good to see and learn from Nature. Nature uses a scouring effect to keep Estuaries, River Mouth's and Tidal Pools open.

With Poor Farming Practices and this includes Rural and un Developed land owned by the Government contributes to the clogging up of these Marine Nurseries and Natural Protected areas.

In Nature Tidal movement over Spring Tides Especially over the Equinox twice a year and storm surges over the stormy seasons to perform the scouring actions.

Scouring is the hydraulic effect water has on the sediment built up in the ocean and along rocky shores, estuary mouths and river mouths. Scouring is the digging out and washing away of sediment leaving a deep pool behind.

Souring is needed in Rock Pools and Reefs to keep it clear of sediment built up and clogging up of these natural hide aways for small rock fishes and crestatian life forms.

With this established it seems that only nature that can pay for it self has a right to existence. Such as Sugar Cane Farming and Man Made Harbors. As soon as we start Game Farming or Fishing we are hindered by the emotional out cry of uneducated people.

Richards Bay harbor uses scouring effect to its advantage through various drainage and tidal channels. To keep the harbor operational they also use hard mouth development as swell as dredging.

Scouring is by far the most natuaral way to manage sediment build up in any waer body or natural estuary or river mouth.

Petrus
Pin:2B84CDD7
petrusviv.bbm@gmail.com
0813427371
BBM Pin:2B84CDD7
Cell: 0813427371