The Third Quarterly Meeting of the Simon’s Town Coastal Forum was held during the morning of Saturday 25 May 2013 at St Andrews Church in Glencairn, and was attended by some thirty five people, including Glencairn residents.

Activities began with an Open Event, which highlighted the activities and achievements of the Glencairn Education and Environment Support Enthusiasts (GEESE). Darryl Colenbrander of the CoCT Environmental Resource Management Coastal Unit gave a presentation which outlined the Glencairn Beach Study, commissioned by the City and also involving the Province and the Railways. This Study will seek coastal and structural engineering advice to safeguard the viability of the railway line without jeopardising the environmental health of the beach, the dunes or the river estuary. Darryl indicated how public input would be made into the decision making process as the Glencairn Beach Study develops.

The formal business of the Third Quarterly Meeting of the Simon’s Town Coastal Forum then followed.

1. Reports on recent activities and events, as given in the following abridged Calendar.

2. Beaches and Beach Facilities: Concern had been raised about the deterioration of some of our beaches. The CoCT Environmental Resource Management was asked to carry out an assessment of the success or otherwise of its policy of managing all Simon’s Town beaches as “natural” beaches, and to report its findings back to the Forum (Action: Geoff Brundrit).

3. Awareness and Communication have been recognised as crucial to the success of the Forum. Proposals on the involvement of schools, the local press and the use of social media were made, and will be taken forward. Sharon Martin volunteered to help on this matter (Action: Louise de Waal).

4. Any other business: Concern was raised about an experimental octopus fishery being undertaken along our coast. Malcolm Grant from the Cape Boat and Ski Boat Club offered to provide information regarding this Fisheries research project, and to clarify the No-Take Zones of the Marine Protected Areas along our coast.

5. The next Fourth Quarterly Meeting will be held at the end of August 2013.

Geoff Brundrit, Forum Convenor

Calendar from 26 Feb – 25 May 2013

Events by invitation, and attended by many Forum members.

27 March 2013: The 13th Environmental Public Feedback meeting hosted by the SA Navy’s Environmental Office and the Institute for Marine Technology was held on the 27 March 2013.

14 April 2013: SEA Pledge Talk by Dr Sylvia Earle at Lawhill Maritime Centre in the Simon’s Town School.

23 April 2013: Launch of WWF/CoCT My False Bay Initiative at False Bay Yacht Club.

Correspondence on items of interest

Humpback whale disentanglement from lobster pot off Cape Point: Operation partially successful: Dave Hurwitz 27 Feb 2013.

Cape Town Spatial Development Framework: Technical Amendment for Public Participation. Alignment  of urban edge and coastal edge at Glencairn estuary and Silvermine river mouth Clovelly. The proposal was to use the existing urban edge. Our appeal was to rather use the existing coastal edge which would enlarge the areas under coastal protection. The appeal was upheld: Kim Kruyshaar and Cilla Bromley 9 April 2013.

Long distance swimming incident off Boulders Beach. Matter resolved with SANParks: Craig Foster 6 Mar 2013.

Design of Clovelly Pump Station for improvement to the water reticulation system for the City of Cape Town. Query on adequate protection for new infrastructure from flooding from river and sea, and reassurance given from sub-Council. Geoff Brundrit 14 Mar 2013.

Unsuccessful attempt to rescue stranded false killer whales from Noordhoek beach by transport to Simon’s Town and release into False Bay. Geoff Brundrit 25 Mar 2013.

Ocean water quality monitoring for marine plankton by citizen scientists using smart-phone apps. Links from Geoff Brundrit 26 Mar 2013.

Decrepit state of Seaforth Beach resulted in on-site review by interested parties, and on-going improvements to Council procedures proposed: Alison James 13 April 2013. Also see ST Penguin Advisory Committee Meeting below, and Agenda for Forum Meeting 25 May 2013.

Orca sightings in False Bay: Photographs from Dave Hurwitz circulated on 19 April and 30 April 2013. It appears that at this time of the year the Orcas are to be found in the fishing grounds to the south of Cape Point, and pods occasionally venture into the Bay.

Simon’s Town Penguin Advisory Committee meeting on 30 April 2013. Three items are relevant: Dogs on beaches, where a proposal by the Coastal Forum and a response by the Amenities Department of the City of Cape Town were sent to the sub Council so that the proposed procedure, including recommendations for specific beaches, may be advertised for public comment. The state of Seaforth beach was reviewed and improvements to Council procedures approved. Traffic arrangements for visitors to Boulders were seen to be in need of review and progress was made at an on-site meeting with traffic officials. Geoff Brundrit.

Octopus fishing is being undertaken as a pilot project on the coast between Muizenberg and Smitswinkel Bay. The national Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries has given a five year licence, but how DAFF can authorise this in part in a No Take Marine Protected Area for which DAFF is responsible, is incomprehensible. John Walmsley and Wilf Nussey 2 May 2013.

A Call for Volunteer Law Enforcement Officers by the City of Cape Town was circulated, emphasising the need to support the Marine Law Enforcement Unit. Geoff Brundrit 9 May 2013

Scientific meeting to suggest projects for oceanographic research in False Bay was held at the Institute for Maritime Technology, with participation from IMT, SAEON, CSIR, UCT, SAWS and CoCT. Carl Wainman 10 May 2013.

A Planning Meeting for GEESE Activists was held in Glencairn on 12 May, with a Report of progress and decisions available on 14 May 2013.

More information from Geoff Brundrit or the Forum member indicated in the item.