JBay has claimed many a fin thus inadvertently polluting our ocean, longtime local ballie Glen Bowles has an arrangement with the subsistence fishermen who collect oysters from the rock pools on the low tide. They bring any fins they find which he cleans up, re-drills the screw seats and buffs smooth again ready for their second life.
Glen has been working in the fin trade for about a year and a half now and has collected about 45 usable fins. The fisherman are stoked because he pays them between R20 and R35 a fin depending on the condition and type and whether they are recyclable or not.
A lot are unusable with the tabs broken off or are fixed fins, Glen then gives the fishers R5 to keep them interested. Some of these he gives to a local artist who uses them to make table numbers for a local restaurant (you might have seen them at Nina’s). The oyster collectors are stoked as they are making a buck off what is really a by-product for them. For Glen the logic is that you cannot just buy a single fin, you have to buy a set and how many times have you gone for a surf only to lose a fin at the jump off, these guys can just run up to his place (who lives directly opposite Tubes) and get a replacement.