African Journal of Marine Science

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

ML Dicken, MJ Smale, AJ Booth


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 fisherdays 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. Postrelease mortality ranged from 3.8% for young-of-theyear 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.

Keywords: Carcharias taurus; competitive shore-angling; cpue; shark fishing; South Africa

African Journal of Marine Science 2006, 28(3&4): 589–601
AJOL African Journals Online