Original Articles

A survey of the South African shore-angling fishery


Abstract

Roving creel surveys and aerial surveys of shore-angling were undertaken as part of a national investigation into linefishing in South Africa. Shore patrols utilized a random stratified sampling procedure to collect catch-and-effort data, and a questionnaire provided information on fishing effort, angler demographics, economics and attitudes towards current regulations. A total of 1 677 patrols, covering 19 616 km, was conducted between April 1994 and February 1996, during which period 9 523 anglers had their catches checked and 4 490 were interviewed. A further 16 497 km were covered by aerial surveys, when 22 609 anglers were counted. From the aerial surveys, angler densities were highest on the KwaZulu-Natal coast (4.65 anglers·km−1), followed by the Southern Cape coast (2.29 anglers·km−1), the Eastern Cape coast (0.36 anglers·km−1) and the West Coast (0.12 anglers·km−1). Catch rates varied from 1.5 kg·angler−1·day−1 on the Southern Cape coast to 0.45 kg·angler−1·day−1 on the KwaZulu-Natal coast. Total effort was estimated at 3.2×106 angler days·year−1 and the total catch was estimated at 4.5×106 fish·year−1 or 3 000 tons·year−1. Targeted species varied regionally, with elf Pomatomus saltatrix (29%) being the most sought after species on the KwaZulu-Natal coast, kob Argyrosomus japonicus (18%) on the Eastern Cape coast and galjoen Dichistius capensis on the Southern Cape coast (30%) and along the West Coast (50%). The catch composition by mass was dominated by P. saltatrix on the KwaZulu-Natal coast (29%), the Eastern Cape coast (26%), and on the Southern Cape coast (56%) and by white stumpnose Rhabdosargus globiceps (40%) on the West Coast. Although anglers generally supported the regulations currently governing the linefishery, the questionnaire results showed that knowledge and compliance of them was poor. A low level of law enforcement was found, except for in KwaZulu-Natal. Management of the linefishery is discussed in relation to the findings of this study.

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