Linefish Resilience in the Anthropocene - Special Issue

Posted 27 October 2020 by under Announcements & Notices • Journal: African Journal of Marine Science
Linefish Resilience in the Anthropocene - Special Issue

‘Linefish’ is a uniquely South African term used to describe marine fishes that are captured using hook and line. The South African linefishery is a complex socio-ecological system that has a considerable impact on the coastal marine environment while generating social and economic benefits for commercial, small-scale and recreational fishers. Like many fisheries, this complex system is under threat from the combined impacts of increasing levels of exploitation and climate change associated with the Anthropocene.

The Southern African Marine Linefish Symposium (SAMLS) has acted as a platform for scientists, managers, conservation officers, individuals from nongovernmental organisations, and other stakeholders to meet and exchange knowledge about the state and development of linefisheries.

Volume 42, Issue 3 of African Journal of Marine Science comprises a suite of articles based on presentations delivered during the 5th SAMLS which was held at Mpekweni, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa, in July 2019. The conference was divided into several sessions: (1) Fisheries; (2) Monitoring and marine protected areas; (3) Genetics; (4) Life history and ecology; (5) Climate change; (6) Socio-ecological systems; (7) Movement studies; (8) Science communication; (9) Estuarine fisheries; and (10) Catch-and-release science. 

The Editorial overview of this special issue discusses various long-term trends in the dominant linefish research topics during the past five symposia,  highlights some of the main outcomes of the most-recent conference and make recommendations for the development of a resilient linefishery in the Anthropocene. As pointed out in the editorial overview, the linefishery is not only the largest fishery in South Africa in terms of participation, it is also the most complex. However, maintaining its resilience is critical to sustain the considerable social and economic benefits for commercial, small-scale, and recreational fishers and associated industries. 

This special issue comprises 10 research articles with their subject areas being  linefish life history, genetic diversity, movement patterns, ecological interactions, responses to catch and release, and monitoring.

The African Journal of Marine Science is delighted to provide a platform for the communication of linefish research as a contribution to our knowledge of this critically important South African fishery. 

The Editorial overview can be viewed at no cost until the end of November here while the Preface can be viewed here

Front Cover Credit:
A Scotsman Polysteganus praeorbitalis in the Hluleka Marine Protected Area. This endemic sparid is important in the commercial and recreational boat-based sectors of the linefishery along the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal Province and the Pondoland Coast of the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. This particular seabream reaches an age of at least 13 years, is thought to be a protogynous hermaphrodite, and appears to maintain a small home range. The stock status of the population has been classified as collapsed and the species is categorised as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The Scotsman represents only one of the approximately 250 species targeted in the multisectoral, socio-economically important South African linefishery.
© Steve Benjamin (Steve Benjamin Photography,

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