Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Fishy Stories

Durban’s Bay has seen many incarnations. Hundreds of years ago it teamed with hippo and crocs. Then came the city of Durban and the bay became the harbour after much dredging and modifying. River courses were altered and the cities storm water drains now empty their load of litter into one of Africa’s busiest harbours. In all this time fishermen have been allowed to ply their trade here in ever decreasing and restricted zones, some for recreation and for others their livelihood. Not even shark attacks have kept them from fishing this rich harvest of food. Nine eleven was the turning point for them. New security legislation deemed these people a possible threat. First the boats were banned and then anyone fishing from the shore. On Sunday 27 April a gathering of fishermen defied the authorities and threw out their lines from the shore. A group of bored looking water police ignored them and cruised away in their naval patrol boat.
29/04/08 Latest...Seems like the boats can still fish for now and no action will be taken against the shore fishermen for a while)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Drowning in Rubbish

I was sent on a story looking for dead fish from a recent sewerage spill in the Umgeni River near the Athlone Bridge. No dead fish (probably eaten by birds) but mountains of rubbish and litter washed down by the river waiting to be deposited on Durbans "Golden Mile" As thousands of commuters rushed over the bridge encapsulated in their cars I wondered how many were aware of their modern lifestyles and how this was impacting on the environment. To get to the river one has to clambour down a steep bank and walk through sticky mud so I guess only desperate fishermen, hobos and the like venture into this world of plastic debris. Oddly enough there is still a vibrant bird life on the Umgeni mud flats who happily forage amongst the garbage looking for food.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Splashy Fen

Mud Glorious Mud turned Splashy Fen into Splushy Fen for the first two days. The sun then appeared and 9 000 party animals did their thing. With over seventy bands ranging from folk singers to hard core rock there was never going to be a dull moment. The Splashy atmosphere is hard to describe and one needs to be there to experience it. There is an overall sense of relaxation and peace. It is a small capsule away from the constant crime and violence that sometimes plagues SA. I guess it is simply a bunch of people who all have the same intentions. Have a good time and chill. Next year will be the 20th anniversary and promises to be a biggie.