African Journal of Marine Science

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Assessment of the recreational linefishery in selected Eastern Cape estuaries: trends in catches and effort

P Pradervand, D Baird


Boat-based creel surveys were used to collect catch and effort data on the shore- and boat-based linefisheries of the Kromme, Gamtoos, Swartkops, Sundays, Bushmans, Kariega, Kowie and Great Fish estuaries in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, from January 1996 to April 1997. The surveys, which were performed primarily during routine fisheries law enforcement patrols by a regional conservation agency, recorded the catch and effort of 2 468 individual angler outings (12 840 angling hours) during 337 angler-count patrols. Although 26 species were recorded, a large proportion of the catch (85%) comprised only four species. Spotted grunter Pomadasys commersonnii (43%) was most commonly caught, followed by Cape stumpnose Rhabdosargus holubi (16%), dusky kob Argyrosomus japonicus (14%) and white seacatfish Galeichthys feliceps (12%). In terms of mass, the overall catch was dominated by A. japonicus (50%) and P. commersonnii (33%). Overall catch per unit effort (cpue) by number was highest during summer and lowest during winter, and vice versa for cpue according to mass. Angler counts showed the Sundays Estuary had the highest mean angling effort for both weekdays and weekends (10.1 and 22.9 anglers count-1 respectively). The Gamtoos Estuary had the lowest count for weekdays (5.5 anglers count-1) and the Kariega Estuary the lowest for weekends (9.8 anglers count-1). Shore-based was more popular than boat-based angling (59% compared to 41%), and all estuaries had substantially higher angling effort on weekends than on weekdays. Angling with bait (93.3%) was more popular than lure- or fly-angling (6.7% combined). Considerations for management of A. japonicus in the Eastern Cape estuarine linefishery are presented.

Keywords: catches, Eastern Cape, effort, estuaries, recreational linefishery

African Journal of Marine Science 2002, 24: 87–101

AJOL African Journals Online