Fish Hoek Offers Safe Swimming

Fish Hoek beach is the only beach in Cape Town with a special exclusion net, introduced in 2013, to keep sharks out of the swimming area. Sarah Waries, programme manager for Shark Spotters — a world-first programme that works to protect both sharks and water-users explains how this net works and why it’s important.

fishhoekFish Hoek is the only beach in Cape Town with a shark net because it has had a number of shark bite incidents. Since 2004 there have been two fatalities and one very serious bite when a man lost his leg (in 2011). There have also been a number of close calls, where surfskis were bitten and people had encounters with sharks.

In October 2011 there were 55 shark sightings at Fish Hoek in one month…It’s the best swimming beach in Cape Town, I would say, but it had this stigma as being “the shark beach”.

Traditional shark nets are designed to catch and kill sharks. Exclusion nets, like the one used in Fish Hoek, just prevent sharks from entering an area. The City of Cape Town’s approach to shark attack prevention is that you must protect people but you must also protect sharks and the environment, and one mustn’t be at the cost of the other. At Fish Hoek we get humpback whales and southern right whales in the middle of the bay, so we didn’t want to put anything in the water that would potentially entangle whales, dolphins, or anything else.

The exclusion net is deployed at Fish Hoek in the summer time, from the October school holidays through to Easter (March/April). In October we just do school holidays and weekends. From November to March we try and put it up every day, but it’s weather dependent — when the wind is too strong or the swell is too big we don’t deploy the net. We aim to have it up for about 20 days per month.

Source: Cape Town Community

Fire: Main Road, Fish Hoek Closed

Elsies Peak on fire, Main Road closed off between Fish Hoek and the Glencairn Expressway.

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The fire broke out on train opposite the Glencairn Quarry.
Fire EpNow spread to Glencairn heights above gun club and is burning surrounding vegetation.
Fire EP 1

Spreading rapidly around to Cockburn Close, Glencairn Heights

Increased shark activity with the arrival of spring

Shark WarningThe City appeals to all beach and ocean users to be aware of the expected increase in in-shore shark activity over the spring and summer months. Typically, shark sightings start in late August, and continue through to April, with most sightings being reported in mid-summer.

‘White sharks are present in our waters all year round and beach users should be aware that there is always a small possibility of encountering one of these animals. However, surfers are asked to be especially vigilant in the stretch between Sunrise and Macassar Beaches during the spring and summer months, as research has shown that the shark presence in these waters increases at this time of year.

‘Please always remain alert while enjoying the ocean. I thank our City staff and our partner, the Shark Spotters, for all of the hard work that is currently underway to ensure that our residents can enjoy a safer beach experience,’ says the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy, Environmental and Spatial Planning, Councillor Johan van der Merwe.

The Shark Spotters Information Centre at Muizenberg Surfer’s Corner is open to the public from 08:00 to 18:00 seven days a week. The centre provides up-to-date information on sharks and marine ecology, basic first-aid, general public assistance and emergencies, storage of valuables and lost property.

In addition, the Fish Hoek shark exclusion net will again be deployed for the annual Fish Hoek Spring Splash on 6 September 2015.

The exclusion net has proven to be an effective shark safety measure, by creating a physical barrier that prevents sharks from entering the bathing area. It will be in full operation during the 2015/2016 summer season.

On days that the exclusion net is deployed, the operating hours will be from 09:00 to17:00 and may occasionally be extended to allow for lifesaving training or events. The Shark Spotters will keep beach users informed about the deployment of the net via Twitter and Facebook, and signage is displayed when the net is deployed.

For more information on the latest shark sightings and research, please visit www.sharkspotters.org.za or follow the Shark Spotters on Twitter (@SharkSpotters) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/SharkSpotters).

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Fill a Bag, Win a Board

It’s that easy to win a surfboard in the Tuffy Beach Clean-Up competition. Fill a Tuffy bag with litter collected from your favourite beach and send the evidence to comps@zigzag.co.za, which will put you in line to win a brand new board sponsored by Firewire and Share the Stoke Foundation each month until the end of January 2016.

Chas Everitt False Bay will be keeping stock of Tuffy bags whilst the initiative is running at their Fish Hoek office for those that need them.  Contact Scott Tait on 076 156 2619 for more information.
TuffyAdFind out more about our Tuffy Beach Clean-Up competition – in which you can get rewarded for your good enviro-deeds by winning big.

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Sewage Pipes in Fish Hoek Relined

Fish HoekIn a bid to reduce harmful bacteria spilling onto Fish Hoek beach, sewage pipes in Fish Hoek are being relined.

The project, which will cost just under R2m, will address a number of issues such as sewage leaks or the incorrect disposal of organic waste which creates E. coli bacteria that enters the stormwater system and is then washed out onto the beach.

Pipes are being relined for different reasons in different places, explains Ernest Sonnenberg, mayoral committee member for utility services.

“Corroded sewer pipes under Main Road are being relined to regain lost capacity and to prevent blockages in the system, and the old clay pipes in First, Second and Third avenues are being lined as part of the City’s scheduled pipe replacement programme, aimed at preventing future collapses and lowering the risk of leaks,” he says.

“Inspection of the sewerage network throughout the Fish Hoek and Clovelly areas also revealed a few minor leaks that were allowing sewage to enter the stormwater system. These leaks are also being repaired as part of this project.”

However, in the Fish Hoek area, these are few and far between, and are generally quickly reported and immediately addressed, says Brett Heron, mayoral committee member for transport.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of August.

Dogs to be reined in on these 14 Cape beaches

Dogs to be reined in on these 14 Cape beaches

Cape Town, renowned as a sun-worshiping hotspot, has become a hotbed of conflict between beachgoers who want a dog-friendly beach environment and those who complain about the negative impact of dogs on the city’s beaches.

The areas under consideration are detailed as follows:

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