The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (Port Elizabeth) is currently considering and urgent ban on fishing close to recreational beaches after it became apparent that chumming – a custom of throwing cut-up fish in the sea to catch sharks – is taking place close to surfing, paddling and swimming areas. According to the municipality, a public participation process would be started soon.
The Municipality’s Beach Office recommended a ban on angling from Kings Beach (Southern) Harbour Wall to Flat Rock (Beacon) and other beaches – 500 meters away from lifeguards demarcated bathing areas – such as Bluewater Bay, St Georges Strand, Brighton Beach and Wells Estate.
Wild Side beaches such as Maitlands, Blue Horizon Bay and Van Stadens River Mouth are also included.
This decisive action follows after concerned surfers, a paddler and other stakeholders raised concerns of chumming and fishing close to recreational beaches that could be dangerous for public safety.
However this does not mean that a complete ban on fishing will be implemented since angling will still be allowed from Beacon down towards Willows, Schoenmakerskop and outside bathing areas where lifeguards are on duty.
If the bylaws are enacted, transgressors could face a maximum fine of R10000 and the concerned areas would be monitored by closed circuit television.