Original Articles

Shark fishing effort and catch of the ragged-tooth shark Carcharias taurus in the South African competitive shore-angling fishery


Abstract

An integrated telephone and on-site questionnaire survey was used to estimate total shark fishing effort and specific catch of the ragged-tooth shark Carcharias taurus by coastal club-affiliated shore-anglers, primarily along the east coast of South Africa. Mean total shark fishing effort was estimated to be 37 820 fisher-days year−1 (95% CI = 28 281–47 359 fisher-days year−1) with a mean cpue of 0.073 C. taurus fisher−1 day−1 (95% CI = 0.068–0.078 fisher−1 day−1). Cpue for C. taurus varied significantly along the coast and ranged from a high of 0.260 fisher−1 day−1 in the Eastern Cape to zero fisher−1 day−1 on the West Coast. The total number of C. taurus caught annually by coastal club anglers was estimated at 1 764 fish year−1 (95% CI = 321–3 207 fish year−1). The majority (92.1%) of young-of-the-year sharks (<1.2m total length, TL) were recorded between East London and Jeffreys Bay, suggesting that this may be the primary nursery area for C. taurus. Post-release mortality ranged from 3.8% for young-of-the-year sharks to 18.5% for adult sharks (>2.4m TL). The majority (76.2%) of anglers interviewed stated that they now fished less for sharks since the banning of vehicles on beaches in December 2001. As a result of this ban, almost half (49.2%) of interviewed anglers stated that they now fished more for non-cartilaginous species.

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