GARDEN ROUTE NEWS - The announcement of level 5 of the national lockdown was stressful to say the least, however it created a time for the healing of the natural coastal environment.
Pristine spots such as Kanon and Cape Vacca, south of Mossel Bay, could breathe a sigh of relief after the daily demands on an already over commercialised coastline.
According to a concerned resident in the area, it was not uncommon to see people fishing during the lockdown before the prohibition on fishing was lifted.
Since the lifting of the fishing ban and the beaches reopening, the number of visitors arriving in Kanon has increased dramatically, as Kanon is a pleasant location at which to enjoy the outdoors.
Most visitors behave as nature lovers do, but a large number of the public tarnish and destroy the area.
What bears particular concern is excessive speeding on the sand roads which results in wild birds, antelope and tortoises being run over.
Members of public have removed restraints to accessing the beach with vehicles. Also, enormous amounts of bait are being harvested, including octopus, which is being harvested illegally. Beach harvesters are on the increase, collecting coastal plants, shell crush and other protected organic marine debris. Tortoises are being poached in the entire area. There is spotlight hunting of bat-eared foxes and bushbuck on private properties.
The two public areas at Kanon have all the required signage and entrance restraints supplied by the municipality, but seemingly these restraints are being ignored by poachers.
Fortunately the setting up of more cameras, along with support from the relevant law enforcement agencies including a private security company, has seen the establishment and collection of sound information that can assist law enforcement with ongoing investigations.
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