The Knysna Estuary is the heart of this Garden Route town in the Southern Cape.
With rare occurring species like the Knysna Seahorse, protection is needed, especially with the on-going illegal sea activity.
A new law enforcement boat, iLindile, has been introduced to help officials combat the problem.
iLindile, meaning “it awaits”, is a rubber duck that will be replacing the existing 10-year rubber duck to patrol the National Garden Route National Park’s estuary.
Knysna Area Manager Megan Taplin says that this estuary plays an important role in the balance of the environment.
“It’s very important that we regulate the use that’s in the estuary. We manage it as a protected environment and we need to make sure that everyone is following the regulations and that everyone is complying with the law.”
The estuary rakes in billions of rands for property agents as more people buy along this water body.
Garden Route National Park’s Manager, Paddy Gordon, says that its economic role is equally as important.
“Garden Route having mostly a tourism economy, the estuary and the beaches play a very important role in drawing people to the region for holidays but also lots of people invest in the houses and the properties around here. And the closer you are to the estuary, the higher the value of the property.”
South African National Parks (SANParks) rangers and divers have an on-going partnership with legal bodies such as National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) and the South African Police.
Knysna police’s Warrant Officer Francois Cowley says this partnership is very important as these bodies can assist as and when needed.
“They will assist us even when we need to go into the water and we don’t have a vessel to use at that specific time, they’ll take us in the water and assist us even when we put our boats in the water,” says Cowley.
This estuary was declared as South Africa’s number one estuary in terms of its rich biodiversity.
It is home to 43% of our country’s plant and animal life and an environment such as this one, should be protected at all times.