Treknet fishing: a local tradition

10 thoughts on “Treknet fishing: a local tradition

  1. You know, Liz, this is one of my earliest memories of my own beach here. In those days, as a small kid, I used to run to the beach when these “Rampani bala” or rampani nets were used. We used to help in dragging the net in and those kind, elderly fishermen from another age would throw us little kids a little of their catch and gruffly/kindly tell us to shoo, scat, vamoose.. I had written about that in an old article of mine. That kind of community effort, camaraderie seems to have disappeared in the years later. Today it is all commercial. In fact, there are no more Rampani Nets, no more Rampani Boats that can carry such huge nets on this coast.
    But that is not what this comment is about.. I was just wondering.. what do the locals call that kind of net over there? That particular net which is taken to the sea in boats and then the long cords pull the net in with the catch? What is the local term for it? I ask this because I am amazed that this practice is still followed over there and I am wondering if the practice over came from over there or went from here.. History is often fascinating for the interconnection between far-flung races.. and the only way of verifying such ostensibly trivial things is from the terms used or the corruption of the terms.. So I would like to know… 😀 Etymology is also as interesting as history and current events 🙂

    (To be fair, I don’t really know how the “Rum-/puN-/ee” or Rampani word came into existence.. my own lack of knowledge. So it would be really a pleasing thing to know if it is a derived word in the local language)…

    1. Intriguing Tejaswi – here we are at opposite ends of the globe with a tangible sense of connection discussing a common subject. I did a bit of research as the fishing community here have roots that go back three centuries – Malays, Javanese, Madagascans, Filipinos. The Filipinos were the first to set up in Fish Hoek; but i can’t find any reference to Rampani. It’s not impossible that there’s a link there; but as far as I can establish the word “trek” is used for the nets – as in “pull” from the Afrikaans. Next time the fishermen are out i’ll see if they can shed any light on the names. I’ve been interesting to discover just how widespread this practise of beach seining is – even though one wonders over fish quotas and the like. It’s fairly contentious here as there are sensitive breeding grounds and nurseries along some of the coastal areas.

      1. Yes, by all means it would be damaging to the breeding grounds. Any kind of activity with seines, whether on the shore or the deep sea is damaging. In fact, along our coast, there is already some sort of a fish famine. It is madness to do it on a commercial scale. I objected twenty years ago when our government in all its wisdom opened the seas for chinese trawlers. It was stupid and we are seeing the consequences now.

        About common subjects, I think we are all bound by the same objective. A better world. But I am so glad that you are interested too. I am always fascinated by etymological roots of words, whether foreign-loan words or even local words. You would be astounded to know how much of Africa (of course, northern..) we have in our own languages here. Sometimes it seems like a foolish pursuit, because what does it matter, after all? And yet, I am probably compulsive and obsessed with languages and connections 🙂

    1. Yes, it’s a precarious way to make a living, all or nothing. Some weeks ago they had excellent catches of yellowtail – great to have a bonus like that, but a bit worrying when stocks are dwindling.

    1. Thanks Jane. It’s fascinating that it’s a subject that crosses the globe. I was surprised to read how the traditions survives in such diverse locations from Sennen Cove (Cornwall) through Africa – Peru.

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