The following are sections from Ugu Lwethu - Our Coast (Goble et al., 2014). Contributions are from a range of authors all of whom are credited per section.
The coastal environment is extremely important to people, both resident at the coast and as a tourist destination. The coast and its resources are used for traditional, cultural and subsistence reasons, with the focus shifting, in recent years, to recreational and leisure activities and use. This chapter provides an overview of the main socio-economic uses of coastal and marine resources.
Historical, Cultural and Traditional Resource Use
Much has been written about specific resources and features along the KZN coast. Many materials exist that provide evidence of the use of these coastal resources and the creation of certain features; the relics of hunters and gatherers, the activities of farmers, conservationists, soldiers and traders, missionaries and the many ordinary men and women of KZN, both historically and in the present.
Photo: Bronwyn Goble
Photo: Bronwyn Goble
Access to the Coast
The coast has cultural, historical and spiritual significance to the people of KZN, thus it is important that access to the coast be maintained. However, access to the coast was restricted for many in the past, making it imperative that equitable access be maintained in the future. In addition, coastal access provides opportunities for recreation, education and overall improvement of both mental and physical health.
Artisanal and Subsistence Fishing
A generally accepted definition of artisanal fisheries is that they usually have a long history and tradition or culture; mostly make use of low technology fishing gear (often made by hand); and catch fairly low value resources.
Photo: Bernadine Everett
Photo: Rose Palmer
The waters of the KZN coast are mostly sub-tropical and usually remain between 22-270 C, encouraging a number of recreational activities such as swimming, surfing, sailing and diving. In addition, the KZN coast represents a subtropical transition between tropical Indo-Pacific biota in the north-east and warm-temperate biota in the south, making it a premier destination for recreational activities such as fishing, surfing, scuba diving and swimming.
Socio-Economic Uses of the Coast PDF