Conservationists have argued that improved legislation on the use of sea resources could improve the life of the fishing community in Arniston. Since Arniston is situated far from industrial developments and alternative job opportunities, the most feasible future source of income will be tourism.
The historical heritage and ecological uniqueness of the area should therefore be conserved, in such a way as to also benefit the fishing community. Legislation should allow a community like Arniston access to a sea reserve in which they can utilise the sea resources with small boats according to special rules. This would enable them to survive as a sea and fishing community. Similar reserves have been established successfully in other countries, where local communities and the national government jointly manage the reserve. The argument thus is that the local community should have access to a proclaimed special rights reserve, so that the fishermen will have the choice of fishing on small boats in the local reserve or exercising their license rights under the existing legislation in bigger boats deeper into the ocean. This also means that the local community will need to have a say in the management of the harbour.
The community of Arniston could be assisted to remain a fishing community through special regulations, with the harbour and its surrounding areas naturally functioning as the heart of the town.
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