Ocean View, a village in the Scenic South Peninsula overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, is home to the Ocean View Association for Persons with Disabilities (OVAPD) which provides members from in and around the community with a place where they can interact, learn skills and make a small income.
In 2006 OVAPD become involved in the manufacture of bird scaring lines, also known as TORI lines, when bird scaring lines became regulatory in some fisheries. TORI lines help to prevent seabirds from accidentally swallowing bait hooks drawn behind longline fishing vessels and trawlers. The project was initiated by the Kommetjie Environmental Awareness Group (KEAG). Funding for the manufacture of the lines was provided by Total South Africa.
The project aims to provide fishing industries with bird scaring lines at an affordable price, while at the same time providing upliftment to individuals in a fairly impoverished community.
In 2011, BirdLife South Africa assumed responsibility for managing the project, with further funding from Total South Africa. The team is comprised of five men and five women, ranging in age from 22 to 71 years, the older members transferring their skills and knowledge to the younger members of the team.
The centre builds two different types of bird scaring lines, one for the longline vessels and another for trawlers. The team can build a line in just over an hour, often at very short notice. They recently received credit for their hard work in producing devices that have significantly reduced seabird mortalities in fisheries when they were awarded the prestigious OWL REWARD from WWF Birdlife/SA. A study conducted in South Africa revealed that between 19 000 and 30 000 albatrosses and petrels are killed each year by the longline boats fishing for tuna and swordfish. Nineteen of the world’s 22 species of albatross are threatened with extinction, largely due to longline fishing.
A TORI Line is constructed from a 150m length of waterproof rope, to which ‘streamers’ are attached. For the first 50m, the ‘streamers’ are lengths of plastic tubing attached at 5m intervals followed by plastic straps, decreasing in length. The streamers cover the point where the bait enters the water distracting birds from taking the baited hooks.The specific design, colouring and dimensions get changed from time to time, in accordance to the ongoing research.
For more about the activities of OVAPD see …