Anglers welcome reopening of harbour area for fishing

Fishermen gather along the West Bank’s foreshore after it was reopened for fishing. Only permit holders are allowed to fish at the section that has been reopened.
TRIAL PERIOD Fishermen gather along the West Bank’s foreshore after it was reopened for fishing. Only permit holders are allowed to fish at the section that has been reopened.
Image: ALAN EASON

A move to reopen a section of the harbour foreshore for fishing has been hailed by the East London angling community.

The section was opened to the public by the Transnet National Ports Authority on Monday.

The move came after ongoing engagements with BCM and the Buffalo City Association of Saltwater Anglers (BCASA).

In May 2018, the Orient Pier was reopened to the fishing community in a joint agreement with BCM, which manages Orient Beach.

Fishermen also currently make use of the site adjacent to the West Bank side of the Buffalo Bridge.

“The reopening of the foreshore will initially run as a three-month trial to ensure all goes according to plan and we’re calling on the angling community to be responsible in its use of the site,” said East London port manager Sharon Sijako.

The foreshore will be open for fishing from 6am to 6pm daily.

“We’re grateful to the BCM and BCASA for our constructive engagements to date which have enabled TNPA to ease some of the restrictions on fishing in the port, without compromising safety and security, port users and operations,” Sijako said.

There has been unhappiness over closure of the western breakwall to fisherman.

They were originally barred from the area about 14 years ago over security concerns in the wake of the 9/11 Twin Tower attacks in the US.

The foreshore was closed at about the same time.

Transnet confirmed that this area would not be reopened as part of its current plans.

The areas that have been opened fall outside the commercial operations of the port, and consequently were more desirable for fishing purposes.

Peter Greyvenstein, deputy chairperson of the angling association, said members were grateful to BCM and Transnet for reopening the foreshore.

Reopening of the breakwall is still high on their agenda, however.

Greyvenstein believed fish stocks of shad, galjoen, kabeljou and grunter would be abundant after so many years without fishing at the foreshore.

Permits to fish at the foreshore will be available from the ports authority at R50.

The fishers association will facilitate the completion of indemnity forms, assisted by the Bilimoria Fishing Tackle shop.

The ports authority will then issue the permits through the association upon receipt of bulk payments. 

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