A lack of environmental concerns expressed in a comment from 2009, on the Bot River Estuary

The gist of these comments from 2009, 11 years ago, still apply today.  The lack of environmental concerns expressed in this article are still relevant today. The article is written by a founding member of Botfriends.  I am reposting it again for that reason. These same points are covered in Botfriends alien clearing program BACP

An Environmental Management Plan for the Bot River Estuary. Posted on the 2 January 2009
(This report is published with the permission of Ingrid Horwood of the Friends of the Bot River Estuary and Environs and does not fully reflect the opinion of the webmaster).


According to the property developer of the luxury Thesen Islands complex in the middle of the Knysna estuary, it was beyond his comprehension that the most precious estuary in the country (No.1 in terms of conservation importance) did not have a management plan. As reported in our last newsletter, we at least have quite a few management tools in place for the Bot – we are rather proud of our efforts over the years and wonder at how all these estuaries have, according to CapeNature, traditionally fallen between the cracks (Cape Times 2/2/07).

Two workshops have taken place and a huge draft EMP produced. We registered our concern at the emphasis placed on urban development, socio-economic problems, anecdotal evidence, LED involvement (Local Economic Development), the fact that fishermen could not traditionally contemplate other forms of a livelihood and ventured that the Bot was being held to ransom because of depleted fish stocks at sea. We recommended that if this were the case then perhaps a moratorium on fishing should be instituted for a few years so that replenishments were not poached out. We also registered our displeasure that some were allowed to, at a separate meeting, air their views and grievances whilst all the other stakeholders around the Bot were almost rendered irrelevant. We pointed out that it was not easy to air opinions in front of delegates from all over – (and did many appear never to be seen again). It took hours to sift through the EMP draft document and we wonder how many had the energy to do so. We took issue at the allegation that Fisherhaven alienated its neighbours and suggested that anti-social elements alienated themselves with the abuse of the Bot and its shores. We registered that Fisherhaven was probably one of the few happily integrated villages in the OSM. Too much credence was given to illegal activities rather than to the law of the land. There were many inconsistencies with much erroneous information in respect of the developments and of management issues. We emphasised that as far as we were concerned the ECOLOGY of the system took precedence over any other factors and that human interventions were not appropriate. We registered disappointment that so little attention was given to the BREAC and its efforts. It was mooted that this forum might change – we wonder how would be better? We reminded them that those who stayed away from meetings did so by choice despite much persuasion.

We believe that only environmental issues should apply – people will go on forever but if not careful our much used and abused Bot won’t. Perhaps one needs to go back in time and blame the government of the day for indiscriminately chopping up land – if we are honest the land around the Bot should never have been put into private/public hands – which means none of us should have been here at all!

Bot River Estuary and its surrounds. Dark patches are severely invaded

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