All along the West Coast you can enter the water and find crayfish! But of course it is appreciated and eaten with reverence. Treat the abundance of the sea with disrespect and one day there will remain nothing! So it is essential to have a licence which allows you a limited quantity. Undersized crayfish are always returned to the sea to breed another day.
One of my first visits ever to Paternoster, we had hardly parked or someone offered us crayfish for sale and asked us to open the car boot fast! These are such nice and amusing people, but their wares, you must ignore. Of course the local people had taken from the sea for generations and see rules as something to get around. There are plenty of stories of locals putting out sentries to warn them of the approach of "Fauna and Flora" which is the name for the Marine and Coastal inspectors.
Here is a favourite story, often told: A vendor walks with a bucket of undersized crayfish when an inspector appears suddenly.
"You are selling small ones there!"
"No, sir, " comes the answer, "I am teaching them to swim...I will show you!" He walks to the water and let the crayfish down one by one and they swim away.
"I still do not believe you" says the inspector, "I am fining you for possession of illegal crayfish".
Fast as a flash comes the answer: "Which crayfish?"
The crayfish on our plates are enormous and taken out by a kindly young neighbour (with licence, of course)! Sometimes we buy them at Velddrif or Paternoster and all the restaurants also offer crayfish. The painting gave me great pleasure as I longed for colour after I have been doing a lot of blue skies lately.