South Africa


Restrictive quotas pricing traditional Kalk Bay fishers out of industry

Restrictive quotas pricing traditional Kalk Bay fishers out of industry
Fishermen throw their catch on to the quay at Kalk Bay harbour in Cape Town. (Photo: Nic Bothma / EPA)

Jacobus Poggenpoel’s family has been fishing for generations but haul limit increases are putting a strain on finances.

The Poggenpoels are one of the oldest Kalk Bay fishing families. Jacobus Poggenpoel is a fifth-generation fisher from the popular Cape Town beach suburb. The tradition started with his great-great-grandfather Dirk Poggenpoel. Dirk came to Kalk Bay in 1850, and he was a skipper during the whaling season.

Because of the Group Areas Act, Jacobus’s family moved from Kalk Bay to Steenberg in the 1970s. They now live in Retreat. His sons have since carried on with the family tradition. In the interim, Kalk Bay property has become extremely expensive and unaffordable for a family dependent on fishing.

Before the quotas began, the Poggenpoels only needed a license to fish. But over the past few years, fishers have been struggling due to quotas decreasing each year.

According to Jabobus’s son, Pierre, the first round of quotas allowed them to fish for 1,000 tons of pilchards and six tons of crayfish. In 2021, the quota was 120 tons of pilchard and 900kg of crayfish. 

Jacobus is concerned that it isn’t sustainable to be a fisher anymore and that his children will not be able to carry on the tradition.

“This is my last year when I try and fight,” said Jacobus. DM

First published by GroundUp.


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • jcdville stormers says:

    I grew up in the time of the “dekskuite”,kalk Bay and Gordons bay,they sold all the fish except”doppies”a silver fish which they took home.Great characters with humor, jokes and selling fish.Fish was teeming in False bay.Im talking 60 s and 70 s,what has happened is a national disgrace.They already had to contend with apartheid, and now with corruption against quotas. This should never have happened ,can it ever be made right?I will have the memories forever of the friendly professional fishermen with their”dekskuite”

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