Monday, February 06, 2017

Fish Size Failing Recreational Angling

Minimum Fish Size 

Argument Sustained 

Bruce Man (Page 32)

Fishery impacts on biodiversity

The linefishery itself has a relatively low impact on marine habitats in comparison to other fisheries. Impacts are limited to littering and disposal/loss of fishing line and tackle, and damage associated with legal (i.e. harvesting of mussels, red bait, sand/mud prawn, etc.) and illegal (i.e. mussel worm [Pseudonereis variegata]) harvesting of bait organisms. The major impact of this fishery on biodiversity has been the serial overfishing of larger predatory fish species resulting in associated changes in the fish community (Dunlop & Mann 2012). Levels of bycatch of undesirable species (e.g. evil‐eye puffer Amblyrhynchotes honckenii) are considered to be relatively low overall. However, the bycatch of sub‐legal sized individuals of preferred species can be substantial in the absence of adequate policing. Dunlop & Mann (2012) highlighted that the minimum legal size limits were more often violated for larger species such as dusky kob Argyrosomus japonicus and yellowbelly rockcod Epinephelus marginatus. There is an increasing tendency towards catch and release in the recreational shore fishery, particularly by organized competitive anglers (Pradervand et al. 2007). Although this practise should be encouraged and supported, post release mortality is still likely to be quite high in some more sensitive fish species (B. Mann, ORI, pers. obs.).


While total participation appears to have remained fairly constant, total annual angling effort in the KZN shore linefishery has declined substantially in recent years. This is important since KZN historically has had substantially higher levels of shore angling effort than elsewhere along the South Africa coast and was a fishery that was considered to be under great pressure (Brouwer et al. 1997). Analysis of overall CPUE, catch composition and total catch from three independent surveys conducted in KZN suggests that this fishery is currently in a relatively stable condition and that relatively little change has occurred over the past 30 years (Joubert 1981; Mann et al. 1997; Dunlop & Mann 2012). However, comparisons of species‐specific CPUE values from these studies suggest that some species (e.g. dusky kob) are overexploited (Table 1). Over the past few decades there seems to have been a gradual transition in landings from long‐lived, high trophic level, piscivorous fish (e.g. dusky kob) to more short‐lived, low trophic level species (e.g. karanteen). In addition, recent analysis of catch trends of shad, which is the most sought‐after species in the KZN recreational shore fishery, have shown a gradual decline in CPUE over the past 30 years (Maggs et al. 2012). The results therefore suggest that present exploitation levels may not be sustainable for certain fish species. Furthermore, in relation to the catches recorded during the early parts of the 20th century, current catch trends suggest that linefish resources have been fished down to very low levels which are only ‘superficially’ sustainable at current levels of fishing effort (Dunlop & Mann 2012). This has been highlighted by research fishing conducted in no‐take marine protected areas (MPAs) along the Maputaland coast where catch rates of more resident fish species are orders of magnitude higher than in adjacent exploited areas (Mann 2012)

Conclusion By Petrus Viviers

Very selective interviews are made and it is well know that Mr Mann only includes close friends and admirers in his sample studies. We, the recreational Angler, has fought for over 30 years for the maximum Size limit to be enforced. Larger fish are well established in self preservation and their reproduction heeled is far bigger than small fish. Smaller fish is undesirable for the hook and cook market due to low body mass to edible flesh ratio. Larger fish is not suitable for eating since the meat is already hard and filled with cartilages ... These Trophy Species are mainly taken purely for bragging rights. 

Smaller size Shad has a buffer zone restricted to fishable days due to weather conditions and tidal movement of the ocean that does not bring them inshore so they are in reach of the anglers. This is a huge problem to convey to the authorities and since my platform has made head way in The iSimangaliso Management saga I would like to use my little soap box to address this one sided conversation. Let us have a more transparent public participation and more input so we can exercise our rights to our very popular and lucrative Sport.

Local Crafts and Curious  

Mr Man also neglects to include in his reports the huge spin offs Recreational Anglers bring to lower skilled workers and their crafts. This was calculated in 1996 - 1997 financial year in the region of R65 000 000.00 rand compared to the R75 000 000.00 turn over off the formal sector in the immediate St Lucia Estuary financial hub. I understand that the impact on local indigenous resources is high but to put a handy cap on the customer base does not solve the poverty problem and is merely a Macro Management Style implemented by the previously Advantage to rid their work load of a micro management problem.

Skills development in these areas should have underway many years ago to teach crafters to establish their own resources to harvest and the importance not to harvest natural resources. This is a Hubris failure and not a man made flaw that should be corrected by lazy Government Officials looking for the next Kentucky Drive Through. 

Any Way that is my six pence and the angle I will keep on hammering over the next few months while I have the exposure created by Mr Zaloumis management style of The Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park and the lack of Empathy towards species and bio diversity protection.

    Petrus Viviers