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03 Mar 2011

Crayfish found with Dagga!

Crayfish found with Dagga!

Lobsters and Dagga Seized in Hout Bay

Police and fisheries officials seized 627 west coast rock lobster and eight kilograms of dagga in separate busts at Hout Bay in the Western Cape on Wednesday.

The fisheries department said police and officials pursued a suspicious fishing vessel into the south-western side of the Sentinel in Hout Bay around 4am.

Spokesman Hein Wyngaard said the crew tried to throw their illegally-harvested rock lobster overboard.

When officials confronted them, the crew abandoned their boat and swam away, eluding arrest.

The authorities confiscated the vessel, finding 269 whole rock lobster and 358 tails.

Wyngaard said arrests were expected as the investigation unfolded.

In a separate incident on Tuesday at 3pm, officials searched a vehicle and found two bags, which they at first thought contained illegally harvested west coast rock lobster.

On further investigation, the bags were found to contain eight kilograms of dagga.

Police confiscated the vehicle and arrested two people.

The case was handed over to the Hout Bay SAPS.

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03 Mar 2011

World of Birds needs help!

Chad Cupido/

The World of Birds in Hout Bay is on the brink of closing down after a shortfall of R1.3 million last year as a result of low visitor rates, shortage of funding and an influx of new animals in need of care.

The private wildlife care service is home to hundreds of birds and other animals including monkeys, porcupines and meercats.

Because of the cost of wages, staff have been reduced from 49 to the present 35, and intensive-care staff from six to a “critical” four. Over 200 birds and animals in need of care are brought to the sanctuary by the public every month.

Owner Walter Mangold said a drastic decrease in tourism over the past three years had reduced visitor numbers from 100 000 to 70 000 while running costs had escalated to R500 000 a month. “With the economic downturn and drastically reduced tourism and income, another difficult year lies ahead. If our financial situation doesn’t improve we will close after Easter. Thirty-eight years of a charitable free wildlife care service has taken its toll and with no financial resources, investments and future security, reality has set in. Cape Town will lose one of its major tourism assets.”

Mangold asked for a meeting with the SPCA chief executive, Allan Perrins, to discuss the possibility of handing over all future responsibility to the association and Cape conservation authorities.

Mangold said the request had been met with a brief return phone call by SPCA Wildlife Unit supervisor Brett Glasby “indicating there was no need for a meeting”.

He accused the association of being incompetent with regard to running bird hospitals and wildlife care services.

Replying to the allegations, Glasby admitted the meeting had been turned down as a result of different beliefs. “We are an animal welfare and believe in quality of life. Our main aim is to rehabilitate and release wildlife. If an animal is injured or incapable of living in its natural environment we are forced to euthanase.” He said he believed the World of Birds chose to keep injured animals alive.

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03 Mar 2011

Remember those crazy Russians on a trimaran? They made it…

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Written by Floris Steenkamp/
Thursday, 03 March 2011
FOUR Russian extreme travellers that set sail in their inflatable trimaran, “Energy Diet” boat from Walvis Bay across the Atlantic Ocean to Brazil last Friday have made it both in the Guinness Book of World Records and the Russian Book of Records. This was for their 6,000 km crossing of the Indian Ocean from Mauritius, around Cape Town in South Africa into the Atlantic Ocean.
The four started their journey in December last year and arrived in Cape Town’s Hout Bay in January this year.
Informanté witnessed the jubilance of Anatoly Kulik, Evgeni Kovalevsky, Yuri Masloboev and Evgeni Taskin last Friday when they heard the good news of their new records.
They were already a few nautical miles off Walvis Bay on their cross-Atlantic venture when Alexey Svistunov, a representative of the Guinness Book of World Records informed them of their latest achievement.
Svistunov had to accompany them on the first few nautical miles of their journey in order to see that all navigational equipment was set and accurate to measure their path across the Atlantic Ocean to yet another world record.
As he was aboard the trimaran, the world record authority notified him by telephone that in fact they had just completed verifying the information of their crossing of the Indian Ocean and that they had set a record.
The celebration and delight was brief. They were just minutes away from leaving the calm and protected waters of Walvis Bay in a north westerly direction right into the inhospitable Atlantic Ocean.
The Commodore of the Walvis Bay Yacht Club, Michael Oosthuizen, accompanied by a small group of well wishers including an Informanté reporter  Steenkamp, followed “Energy Diet” with a skiboat to about five nautical miles off Walvis Bay last Friday.
There the representative of Guinness Book of World Records, Svistunov disembarked from “Energy Diet” to the skiboat and with a simple “God bless” and Kulik, Kovalevsky, Masloboev and Taskin soon became tiny specs on the horizon.
A trimaran consists of three independent pontoons kept together by a rigid structure. In the case of “Energy Diet”, the three independent pontoons are inflated and a steel and wooden structure binds them into a trimaran.
Space is in extreme short supply and the four sailors take turns steering the boat and resting and sleeping in two and a half hour intervals. They share the same compartment which is nothing less than a tarpaulin.
Speaking to the media last week Wednesday, two days before their cross-Atlantic departure, they spoke of the challenging conditions they had to endure, both mentally and physical as well as the harsh conditions of the oceans.
The crew has limited food and water supplies on board and lives mainly off an energy product “Energy Diet” which is the main sponsor and fittingly also the name of the boat.
Interestingly their journey across the Atlantic was supposed to take them through the Gulf of Aden, the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean, but piracy in the treacherous Aden-waters made them decide to first cross the Indian Ocean in two separate projects and then take on the mighty Atlantic Ocean from Walvis Bay.
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02 Mar 2011

ANC wants to help Hangberg

ANC wants to help Hangberg
taken from Booi:

The African National Congress (ANC) in the Western Cape on Wednesday said that it will do whatever it takes to ensure that a solution is found for the people of Hangberg in Hout Bay.

Residents are at loggerheads with the City of Cape Town after failed attempts to evict them in September 2010.

Several people were injured when law-enforcement officers moved into the area, dismantling structures which had been erected beyond the fire break on the slopes of the Sentinel.

The ANC’s provincial leader, Marius Fransman, said they will fight for the rights of the community.

“After months nothing really has happened for the people of Hangberg. They’re still struggling to find a proper piece of land and we’re going to listen to what the community is saying so that we can very directly take it up with the City of Cape Town,” he said.

ANC members will meet with the Hangberg community.

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02 Mar 2011

Hout & About for March 2011

Hout & About for March 2011

Here is the February newsletter from the Hout Bay Residents Association. Please feel free to contact them on details provided to become a member.

Click here to download the newsletter.

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