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Langebaan:Lost,Found and...?

Agulhas, Bontebok, Table Mountain, Tankwa Karoo, West Coast
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AndreB
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Langebaan:Lost,Found and...?

Unread postby AndreB » Wed May 13, 2009 11:10 pm

When I grew up in Langebaan,it was a small village comprising mostly of
fisherfolk,Air Force personnel and their families,a few holiday homes and a
few others.There was Donkergat and its whaling station and its all-pervasive,gutt-wrenching stench if the wind was blowing from that direction.We were ,however,quite accustomed to the stink,as we were to seeing enormous Blue whales,Sperm whales and smaller species being towed into the bay,accompanied by swarms of Ragged-tooth and Blue-pointer sharks which fed off the carcases untill they were dragged up the slipway to be met by the Norwegians and their flensing-knives.

We hardly ever got used to the other smell of our town,though.When the
Pearl-Oyster company,situated where the Yacht Club is situated today,starts burning the crushed oyster shell to turn it into a grit that was used
as goodness knows what,we bravely tried to ignore that smell which drove most adults to spend longer hours in the Panoramic Hotel.

The pearl-oyster was dredged by enormous flat-bottomed barges which
steamed all the way up the lagoon to where the enormous deposits of fossilised pearl-oyster lie.
Did I mention the familiar smells of fresh fish netted in the channels of the lagoon by the fishing-families,the Haarder and Maasbanker-bokkoms?

And the flowers and the koekmakranka's and swimming at Preekstoel and the taking of crayfish from waist-deep water in gulleys on the ocean side of Postberg and how the whole Lagoon seemed to die after the then government built a harbour in the bay towards Saldanha and thereby diverted the sea currents and allowed a million years of pristine ecosystem
to change forever.The fish went ,the musselbanks died,the channels known by generations of sea-lovers closed or changed direction within weeks,and Langebaan became a holiday resort and ordinary folk,the salt of the earth folk,sold their properties and left.

I often visit Langebaan.I am happy that Sanparks is doing such tremendous work in managing the magnificent biodiversity found in the West Coast National Park.I am proud to take my grand-children to Geelbek
and Churchhaven.I am not, however,able to have them understand the smells which are no longer there....
:( :) :D
No man is an Island...
John Donne(1573-1631)

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AndreB
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Re: Langebaan:Lost,Found and...?

Unread postby AndreB » Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:21 pm

Thanks to the 50/50 team for highlighting the extreme threat to the present eco-system prevailing in the WCNP. In the abovementioned post,Langebaan lost...,I tried to convey the message of the destruction
of a pristine eco-environment,the Langebaan lagoon and its marshlands,that followed within the first year after a political decision saw a manmade wall connect the Saldanha mainland to the nearest island and a harbour built in Saldanha bay.The sea currents changed so dramatically
that the nature of the beaches and sandbanks in the lagoon changed to
what it is today. The musselbanks died,the beach at Langebaan was
swept away to the miserable state it is in today.Whom of you can remember the massive sinkholes that formed on the main beach?Where there never were waves,the changed sea currents brought in waves that we had once only had from First Leentjiesklip onwards towards Saldanha.

To reach more Forumites,I posted "Langebaan,a new perspective" in "Chit Chat",hoping to draw reaction from folks who had watched the 50/50 programme on Langebaan.The question I posed in closing:"Do Yellowtail still spawn in the channels opposite Churchhaven?",is as pertinent as wondering why almost no Gurnards(a fish specie)are seen in the bay any more, whereas they had been the most plentiful fish caught in the bay.All of this(the change in sea currents,the scouring of beaches and depositing of the sand elsewhere in the lagoon with its negative impact on marine life) impacts negatively on the WCNP.How would you react if politicians
declared Phalaborwa a National growth area and built a mine at Masorini along the H9?

"At least we will have the flowers in spring",the unconcerned tourist would say.Phambene to that approach to our heritage,Mother Nature,however she presents herself!
No man is an Island...
John Donne(1573-1631)

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Bush Baptist
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Re: Langebaan:Lost,Found and...?

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:33 pm

I think the national park came after the era in which environment was not considered AndreB, and now it is damage control.
Whatever (according to BB): "You are correct but I don't want to admit it".

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AndreB
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Re: Langebaan:Lost,Found and...?

Unread postby AndreB » Thu Jun 11, 2009 2:48 pm

Yes,Bush Baptist,I agree with you about when the harbour was built.But what is of great concern, is the current application to figuratively move
the mining operations at Phalaborwa 15kms into Kruger.The current application implies building a larger harbour.Taking into account how seriously the present harbour and its activities impact negatively on the environment in general and the lagoon and the WCNP in particular,can you imagine the consequences? Our park authorities have got to voice their concerns by offering sound ecological and conservation centred arguments on the relevant forum(that already exists).
No man is an Island...
John Donne(1573-1631)

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AndreB
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Re: Langebaan:Lost,Found and...?

Unread postby AndreB » Thu Jun 18, 2009 2:18 pm

Hallo,testing,testing...is there life out there?Anyone concerned about the
ecological future of the WCNP?Is it important to know what the custodians
of our national park is doing about the imminent expasion of the ore-harbour into the bay and the negative impact it will have on the marsh and
lagoon-area of the WCNP?Or am I being an alarmist?

Do Yellowtail still spawn in the channels opposite Churchaven? :( :big_eyes: :?
No man is an Island...
John Donne(1573-1631)


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