A traditional fishing town with white cottages and lobster…..

Paternoster, one of the oldest fishing villages in the country, is situated on the West Coast and is known for lobster and the white-washed fishermen’s cottages.

The name Paternoster means “Our Father” (Pater –father and Noster – Our) in Latin and is said to refer to either prayers of Catholic Portuguese seamen or the beads that the Khoi tribe wore which were called Paternoster.

The town covers an area of 194.8 hectare and has approximately 1883 inhabitants.

Fishers in Paternoster were among the first members of Coastal Links South Africa. The community, together with other fishing communities formed CLSA in 2002. “We formed Coastal Links because we had to fight for our rights,” commented Naomi Cloete, a long standing CLSA member.

“It was a time when small-scale fishers were not legally recognised and with lots of fishers in my community it was a natural process for us to join the struggle with fellow fishers,” continued Naomi.

Famous for the West Coast Rock Lobster (WCRL), the town has a lobster factory and a Kabeljou farm including commercial fishing factories and a Redro factory which was the first in South Africa in the 1930s.

According to Wikipedia, the WCRL was first enjoyed by Portuguese navigators and by 1902 a full-blown lobster industry was in operation, canning and exporting lobster to France in particular.

The town is well known for its colourful fishing boats and the fresh catch those boats and the fishermen come back with. Local fishers catch and sell herring, or draw mussels from the rocks while others are employed by commercial fishing factories in the deep sea fishing, snoek catching, abalone farming, oyster farming, canning of pilchards and mussel farming find more info.

The town is also a favoured tourist destination. With the white wash cottages, shady stoeps and strings of seashells hanging from the reed dakke, this traditional fishing village has kept its looks and is unspoilt by new developments.

Other than fishing, people who visit the town can go whale watching, according to the South Africa Travelling site, SA venues.  “Whales and dolphins frolic in the ocean (ten months of the year) and after the first spring rains fall the landscape is transformed by the millions of indigenous flowers which open and densely carpet the earth in bright bursts of colour (usually between late July and September)”.


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