The SA Fisheries Museum is unique in that it highlights the history of fishing on the West Coast from the whaling history to pelagic fishing and rock lobster catching. It also celebrates local history, nostalgically interweaving fishing from the past to the present along the coast.
The Museum is housed in a building that dates back to the late 1800s. It represents a time when Johan Carel Stephan of St Helena Bay owned Laaiplek. He established and oversaw his lucrative trading empire at “Rooibaai” right in front of this building near the mouth of the Berg River.
Looking out over this picturesque area today, one can easily imagine the scene when Johan Carel’s cotter of more than 60 boats sailed up and down the Berg River to trade with the Moorreesburg farmers for their grain in return for dried and salted fish.
In Rooibaai the grain was transferred onto the bigger Stephan boats waiting in the bay and then transported to CapeTown, where it was received to the folk song “Daar kom die Alabama”.
The exhibits in the South African Fisheries Museum include a unique collection of artifacts, photo exhibits, processing methods, models of trawlers, as well as interesting tales of the sea and the intrepid seamen who sail on her.
Entrance from De Villiers Street, Laaiplek Hotel
Tel 022 783 2531 or 082 849 9251