Media Release: Boat owners reminded to get SANParks' permits for vessels
As spring has sprung and summer arrives, it is once again time for boat owners to take to the water. The Knysna estuary has been the mecca for residents of and visitors to Knysna and provides endless entertainment for water lovers.
André Riley, Manager of the Protected Lake area that includes the estuary, said that this is also their busiest time of the year. “With the increased usage of the estuary, our patrols will increase to make sure the water area is safe for everybody. The marine rangers ensure that users adhere to safety and use regulations and that licenses and other permits of skippers are valid and that boats are seaworthy.”
Riley said that they introduced boat tariffs earlier this year to contribute towards the management of the estuary. “A tariff structure similar to other marine parks in South Africa was implemented. The registration of boats on the estuary will also assist in the compilation of a database of all boat users on the water. As with registration numbers of cars, a boat registration number will immediately tell us who the owner is, plus contact numbers if needs be. Often after a storm we find boats floating in the estuary – if we had the registration number, we would be able to return this boat to the owner.”
SANParks responsible for managing water quality
SANPark’s responsibility does not end on the water - they are also responsible for managing the water quality together with the local municipality. “We facilitate regular water testing in various areas, monitor catchment areas and also inform the municipality if there are sewerage or other leaks into the estuary that will have a negative impact on the water quality,” said Riley.
Riley said that they are involved in all aspects that influence the estuary, be it Environmental Impact Assessments, research on the estuarine biodiversity, including the famous Knysna seahorse. “Our mandate is conservation and we have to make sure that the estuary is used in a sustainable way. Knysna’s tourism and property value is heavily dependent on the estuary and it is to the benefit of all residents that it is kept in a pristine condition.”
For more information on tariffs or how to acquire your permit, please call the SANParks office on telephone no. (044) 382 2095.
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