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Sunday afternoons on the coast are for braais, they’re for dips in the pool and lazy lunches, they’re for family. Balize Private Estate offers the chance to live al-fresco all year with homes designed with large terraces, glass panels that let light in and 180-degree views of the magnificent Indian Ocean.

With an abundant coastline, seafood is available to us in KZN throughout most of the year.  Most of us who live in KZN eat seafood, and some of us even engage is casual fishing for our own pleasure and to enjoy the day’s catch as a family meal. This is one of the things that makes life on the coast special, however most of us don’t give too much thought to how it is that we are fortunate enough to be able to enjoy seafood, like mussels, at any time we like.

With vast stretches of coastline, KwaZulu-Natal’s ocean is a valuable resource in terms of providing not only recreational opportunities for people, but also a means of making a living, and rock mussels are an extremely important asset. Historically, the conservation of mussel beds relied on two factors; the sale of permits to fishermen and the limiting of daily quotas, however, it turned out that this was not enough to protect the mussel population. In the 1980s their role as an integral part of the marine ecosystem became tenuous with the near-desolation of several mussel beds along our coast.

Fortunately, this justified the decision for a targeted protection initiative in order to start the recovery process, and especially so in Umdloti. In 1998 and after consultation with Umdloti residents, a designated area was indefinitely closed-off for the fishing and collection of several species of marine life including mussels, rock lobsters and certain crabs. Since this happened The Oceanographic Research Institute has been monitoring, tracking and recording the recovery of these mussel beds, and today the mussel population on the monitored reefs has more than doubled in size.

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