Brief Note

Changes to regulations and the gear used in the South African commercial fishery for Jasus lalandii


Alterations to the operational fishing gear used in the South African west coast rock lobster Jasus lalandii fishery and their resultant impacts are investigated. The most important developments have been: (i) a change during the 1960s from hand-hauled hoopnets to winch-hauled traps, with a concomitant modification of vessels; (ii) the introduction of deck-grid sorters in 1975; (iii) an increase during 1984 of minimum mesh aperture from 62 to 100 mm (stretched), with a concomitant decrease in the length of the trap codend; (iv) a decrease in the minimum legal size during the early 1990s; and (v) the introduction of bottom-grid traps in 1994. Most of these alterations have been driven by a trade off between the need for greater operational efficiency and concerns surrounding the issue of how best to deal with the problem of catching and releasing specimens smaller than the minimum legal size.

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