SUBSISTENCE anglers' concerns that the development of the La Mer Waterfront at Swakopmund would bar them from a valuable fishing spot seem to have been temporarily allayed. In fact, the development there has created a better fishing spot with more and bigger fish.
Since the earthworks began, the rocky outcrop forming part of the new breakwater has become even more popular as a spot for catching kabeljou.
"These rocks here make it easier for us to get to deeper water, and that's where the bigger fish are. It's a good place," an angler told The Namibian.
"Today they are a bit smaller, but yesterday there were big ones. And a lot of them. And there are bigger steenbras too. Nearly every day we catch nice ones here," he said.
Another angler said that the high concrete wall shielding the earthworks has created more favourable conditions for fish.
Anglers had feared that the booming development of commercial and residential properties along the beachfront would harm their trade.
Traditional fishing spots, which anglers have frequented for decades, are becoming less accessible. The beach between Vineta to Mile 4 is particularly popular with subsistence anglers because it is close enough to town to walk or cycle to. But this is also the area where major developments have sprung up.
The property developments have also been blamed for fish becoming scarcer. In fact, anglers sometimes take home undersized fish just to put food on the table.
Although beachfront developments have reduced the number of accessible fishing spots, the La Mer breakwater has proven to be a blessing in disguise. The only problem is that no one knows how long anglers will be allowed there.