Dear Reader

The Rooikat of Robberg
Some lucky boaters were rewarded recently with a very rare sighting of a Rooikat on the cliffs of Robberg.  Despite the identification of various spoor, one has not been sighted on the Peninsula for many years.  In fact one of the crew managed to get off a very lucky/skilled photograph, which shows a beautiful specimen in very good condition.

Fishing for the People
A strong possibility exists that the Tsitsikamma Marine Protected area will be opened to fishing for the first time in many years. A 10km section of coast (13% of the total) could be opened, in conjunction with other strict rules and conditions. Anglers will be allowed only five fish per day, which means that only subsistence fishing will be allowed. The local Tsitsikamma community has long made the case that thier ancestors used this coastline for centuries as a source of income and food.

Staying with Fish
On a recent trip down the Keurbooms river, I could not help but notice a fleet of mothballed fishing boats close to the bridge. The sad fact is that SA's fishing stocks have been decimated by years of over-fishing, and hence getting licences to operate boats is very difficult.
The obvious question then is - why not farm the more popular 'stock' fish species. I mean, surely it's easier and cheaper to catch a fish in a tank anyway. It turns out the answer is not so simple.
Problems exist with aquaculture that do not exist in the sea. Diseases spread very quickly and fish have a tendency to develop a very high level of toxins, including mercury. However, the country's first fish hatchery operated by I&J opened recently in Gansbaai, and more could be on the cards. It is impossible to know if fish farms will ever produce enough fish to satisfy our needs. What we do know is that the price of fish is going one way.

Climate Change
What will be the effect of climate change on the Garden Route? A recent UN report suggests that the Western Cape will get drier from the North. What this means is that plant species like fynbos, will naturally try to migrate towards wetter areas, including the Garden Route. This migration will unfortunately result in significant loss of species.
Some types of farming will also become more viable on the Garden Route. It has been suggested that existing wine farming regions outside Cape Town will suffer due to higher average temperatures, and the Garden Route will offer an attractive alternative with it's cooler and wetter climate.
The effects of climate change cannot be reversed in the short term, all we can do is prepare for the inevitable and work to solve the problem in the longer term.

Government has withheld permission for two high profile developments on the Garden Route in the last month.
The first was the R1,1 billion Lakes Eco development outside Sedgefield, in which former Scorpions boss Bulelani Ngcuka is a majority stakeholder, and the second was R2,5 billion Uitzicht development located between Belvidere and Buffalo Bay outside Knysna. The latter is owned by Barloworld, who have indicated that they would seek to incorporate the land into a long term nature reserve. One wonders what Mr Ngcuka is planning to do with his land.

Pumpkin Power
A huge pumpkin weighting 235kg was recently harvested in Fisanthoek on the Mount Nelson farm.  The pumpkin was grown on a compost heap, and only the fastest growing pumpkin were left on the vine.  The world record is held by (you guessed it) an American named Ron Wallace, who grew a pumpkin weighting 682kg.  Amazing what steroids can do.

Kurland Polo
The Seven Oaks polo team from the Natal Midlands narrowly beat the hosts Kurland Estate to a 7/6 victory in the final of the Easter Polo Challenge held on Sunday 8 April at Kurland Pavilion.

Public Holidays
27 April - Freedom Day
30 April - School Holiday
1 May - Workers Day

Until Next Time
The Accommodation Bureau Team


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