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Breede River fishing ban considered

2011-11-09 13:05

Cape Town - A ban on night fishing in the Breede River estuary is under serious consideration, Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said on Wednesday.

This was to protect juveniles and breeding stocks of dusky kob, she said in written reply to a parliamentary question by the Democratic Alliance's Deetlefs du Toit.

Consultation was done through publishing draft regulations in the Government Gazette on September 16 and October 7, Joemat-Pettersson said.

"The moratorium will only be implemented after public comments have been considered. The closing date for public comments was set for 28 October 2011."

Du Toit asked in a separate question why the notice in the gazette on September 16 - indicating an indefinite ban on the catch of red steenbras - included a ban on recreational catches of this species.

Joemat-Pettersson replied that red steenbras was caught by both commercial and recreational fishers.

"The recreational fishery currently catches and lands more red steenbras than the commercial fishery.

"Therefore, the two sectors cannot be considered in isolation and the moratorium on red steenbras must apply to both for stock recovery to occur."

The red steenbras population was regarded as in "extreme conservation danger" as defined by the Linefish Management Protocol.

A moratorium on catching and landing red steenbras was first proposed more than five years ago and had since been debated among the SA Marine Linefish Management Association, Linefish Scientific Working Group, and Linefish Management Working Group.

The gazette of September 16 had allowed 30 days for public comment on the proposal. Concerned parties - commercial right holders as well as organised recreational fishers - had been consulted.

A final decision would be taken only after comments had been considered, the minister said.

Comments
  • Piet - 2011-11-09 13:37

    The recreational angler takes more than the commercial one! WHAT? With the bags limits imposed on us it is impossible! What are the limits for the Commercial Fishery? 5 a Day as it is for us? I do not think so! Go and ban something else!

      Bernard - 2011-11-09 13:48

      I can absolutely believe that the recreational takes more than the commercial in the case of red steenbras. They are a scarce catch, too scarce to be economically viable (too much effort for too little return), but a recreational can still target the few that are left because he doesn't need to make money of them (one good fish to show his friends and he won't stop smiling all day). As for bag limits- they are ignored in many cases so that is an irrelevant argument. Remember, the ban will be on catching and landing. Nobody can stop you catching and returning the fish to the sea. So you can still catch your big red steenbras, just return it to the sea correctly.

      marius.lubbe - 2012-03-01 15:27

      Hi Piet, I believe that especially in the Eastern Cape, people using the claim of being recreational anglers are fishing the Red Steenbras in huge numbers, for sale to a market that commercials cannot supply. No legal sure, that's why everyone has to be kept off Red Rhino for easier policing and giving the fish a chance!

  • Chumscrubber1 - 2011-11-09 13:44

    How sad that human greed has almost exterminated one of our finest angling species, the Red Steenbras. I'll support any conservation meeasures implemented, children also have a right to see the things we as adults grew up with. The 74 used to be plentiful as well but we virually exterminated it. Reef fish can't handle the kind of pressure recreational or commercial fishermen exert - with fish finders there is noe escape, draconian laws need to be implemented. The DA loses my vote when they start fighting against conservation.

  • Chocobutter - 2011-11-09 14:58

    kj

  • Mark - 2012-03-01 15:45

    100% for the Dusky Cob night fishing ban. Thankfully it (breede) is still a healthy river, however it is begining to be abused (large catches of Cob being taken out at night/and day). This being said, there is one (full time) conservation officer to police a 20km (if not more) stretch of river and it coastline. Hard to see this ban being enforced in any way! Good luck, even I'll do what I can to help.

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