Bokkom makes the World go around

The bokkoms are strung up ten at a time. Photos: Denise Crawford

The humble bokkom can get people excited. Ask Linda Voges, owner of the Vishuis in Bokkom Laan in Velddrif. There are times when bokkom is plentiful and times when it’s not. Today is one of the latter.

Today’s bokkom catch only amounted to 58 kg. Which is considered paltry, as it’s one of the mainstays of this region.

Opinion about the salty fish differs
Linda doesn’t eat bokkom herself, but her erstwhile husband enjoyed
it with bread and apricot jam and black coffee.

Inside the Vishuis.

And while staying away from bokkoms Linda does eat their bigger brother, the harder (mullet).

Bokkoms are super affordable. Ten bokkoms will only set you back R20. This is food for both humans, and for the spoilt pelicans that hang around Bokkom Laan, waiting to be fed by the people of the Vishuis and surrounding restaurants.

Smell the bokkom
Bokkom. Harder. The one is smaller and the other one is bigger. That’s the basic difference between the two. And of course the smaller one has a smell that is distinctive, and that might be the result of being salted for three days. These are the differences, but no-one is going to dwell on them because bokkom is part and parcel of this region’s economy.

A fishing trawler in Laaiplek.

“It creates work,”  Linda says over the phone to One can imagine her rolling her eyes at the stupidity of one’s questions. She is referring to the town’s fishermen who go out in their small boats to catch bokkom. Getting bokkom is not a given, however.

“It all depends on the weather,” Linda says. “Last week’s catch was okay, but today’s was not. Tonight the fishermen will try again. Winter is coming, and with it rough seas. It will be a tough time for bokkom lovers and fishermen alike.

Pelicans feasting on bokkom outside the Vishuis.



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