National Heritage Site declaration: 14 NOVEMBER 2014
The Noordkapperpunt (also known as Noorkapperpunt, Noordkappershoek and Noorkapper Point) Fish Traps at Still Bay, Hessequa Municipality, comprise a site of invaluable and irreplaceable historic, aesthetic and scientific significance. They represent a method of exploiting marine resources that was once a common fishing method along the Southern Cape Coast in historical times and possibly earlier, and is still used today by coastal communities.
This technology is visible along the South Western Cape coast and is of unknown age and origin but possibly predates the Khoe farmers who entered the area about 2000 years BP and has been in use by various groups ever since. The Noordkapperpunt traps are still in use today, preserved through traditional maintenance practices, and are thus part of South Africa’s living heritage. If not managed appropriately, these traps and associated fishing practices will disintegrate as the other stone walled traps along the coast have.
Situated in a Marine Protected Area, these traps offer a unique opportunity for heritage and environmental managers and scientists to conduct further research into but not limited to: the provenance of stone walled fish traps in South Africa, the ecological implications of traditional fishing practices and the synergy between the heritage and environmental sectors.