Cape Town – The City of Cape Town wants to remind the public to respect the coastal wildlife, and to avoid any interaction as far as possible.
This comes after an incident on the False Bay coast this week on Monday (November 6), where swimmers approached a Southern Right Whale and her calf.
The City said it received numerous calls from concerned residents on Monday morning, who reported that three people had swum out from the Glencairn tidal pool to a Southern Right Whale and her calf.
One such complaint included a photograph showing one of the swimmers within just a few metres of the whale and her calf.
This is illegal in terms of both the Threatened or Protected Species Regulations (TOPS), as well as the City’s Coastal By-law.
The regulations and by-law prohibit any person or boat to be within 300m of a whale.
Following this incident, and the recent case at Strand which resulted in the death of a seal, the City would like to re-iterate its call to all residents and visitors to please respect our coastal wildlife.
Deputy Mayor and Mayco Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Eddie Andrews, said: “The tourist season is around the corner. We are excited to welcome all to our wonderful city, but I want to ask visitors and residents to please explore our coast and protected areas in a responsible manner, and to abide by our by-laws.
“Wildlife is wild, and should be appreciated from a respectful distance at all times,” said Andrews.
The City has reminded the public that:
- It is the public’s responsibility to keep a safe and legal distance away from all coastal wildlife. This includes, among others, seals, otters, seabirds, whales and all other marine mammals
- It is the public’s responsibility to make sure that their dogs remain under their control at all times and is kept well away from all coastal wildlife
- Abide by signage that stipulates that dogs should be leads
- It is illegal to feed, touch, approach or harass coastal wildlife
- Those found transgressing the law along the coastline may be prosecuted
The public is urged to report all incidents to the City at 021 480 7700.
“Finally, all open-water swimmers are reminded that vessels, boats and kayaks cannot see you when you are swimming.
“In the interest of the safety of all recreational users, open-water swimmers should use a surface buoy or beacon when swimming off our coastline,” the City said.