Photography, Eating and Fishing inspired travels

 Introduction by Joe Lategan

My travels in the publication were overwhelmingly inspired by my devine passion for the awesome beauty of the creation.

Adventurers and travellers have always been explorers and they have therefore naturally provided the much needed social surveillance on good and bad practices in respect of natural resources in mostly undiscovered, uninhabited or sensitive habitats. My travels over the years have similarly taken me to quiet places that made me aware of the need for preservation or the exploitation of some or other resources. It also made me aware of the awesome unique and beautiful biodiversity of our region.

To get away on weekends and holidays and travel, fish, take photos and eat interesting foods is today’s way of life for those lucky enough to be able to afford it . To this end travelling, fishing, cooking and photography are massive industries on their own in the world today. These activities are, however, heavily reliant on sustainable resources that are fast being depleted, mostly as a result of man’s greed or ignorance.  

It is no secret that many species become extinct daily due mainly to man’s omissions and/or actions. A large number of insects, plants and other organisms, as well as mammals and reptiles are destroyed daily, not just in the regions depicted in this book but globally. Locally the rhinoceros, sable antelope, roan antelope, wild dog, cheetah, lion, wattle crane, fish stocks along the coast and others are in serious danger of extinction. In the Cape alone 1,435 plant species have been identified as threatened by the time of writing the this.  Overfishing, agriculture and urban development, destruction of habitat due to poor land management and development, conversion of marginal lands for cultivation, dam construction, mining, pollution, invasive species and crime (illegal extraction of selected succulents and other plants, aquatic species such as abalone, insects and animal parts such as rhino horn amongst others for black market trade ), are some of the main reasons for biodiversity destruction in our region. Of course man has a significant impact on the biodiversity. What man eats or uses for his survival (food and medicine) as well as his pleasures has much to do with sustainable biodiversity in many ways. The belief in rhino horn, abalone, shark fins, many plant species and even human body parts as, amongst other things, aphrodisiacs, emotional stimulants or medicines leaves one in amazement as to the selfishness, and sometimes ignorance, of human nature.

It is very difficult to understand all the internal boundaries in the country as national and provincial tourism bodies divide the country and provinces into areas and routes that cluster products together mainly for economic reasons.

Environmental boundaries, however, cut across and through these and have the sustainability of biodiversity at heart. I’m more in favour of these eco boundaries and, as far as possible, will utilise these in this publication.

Due to the vast size of the area in question certain provinces, regions and other popular destinations within the countries covered in this publication may not be contained herein. I hope to deal with more of these areas in potential future publications.  

There are many publications dealing with indigenous foods of South Africa so I have not included an extensive collection of recipes but merely included those that I felt were the most memorable and that I believe were synonymous with the specific location/chapter. I can assure you those that have been published are, in my opinion, to say the least, lip smacking good. I have cooked each dish at least once, some many times, and I can prepare each one without looking at the recipe.

Photography is an inherent passion to interact intensely with the elements and creatures of the planet and to capture and display images that are emotional renderings of the scenes one experiences. Good subject matter, light, good composition, the small details found at a specific location such as amazing colours, shapes of flowers,  shades, lines, circles and patterns - visually organised, as well as behaviour and spiritual connections would make me return to some locations many times over the years in order to get the desired outcome.

Travel, fish, and eat with me on a journey through arguably one of the the most beautiful countries in our region of Southern Africa with the most wonderful melting pot of races and cultures in the whole wide world and take note of some of the threats to this magical land. I guess that these possibly do not differ that greatly in yours! 

Catfish Joe

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