On the feasibility of a directed trap-fishery for panga Pterogymnus laniarius (Sparidae) in South Africa
AbstractThe feasibility of a directed trap-fishery for panga Pterogymnus laniarius was investigated with special emphasis on minimising the bycatch. A total of 1 302 fish, representing 19 species, was captured in 59 trap deployments at three locations along the Eastern Cape coast of South Africa between September 2002 and July 2004. Panga comprised over 55% of the total catch, with an average of 12 panga per trap haul. Depth and substrate type had a significant effect on the species composition of the catch. Panga comprised 77% of the catch in depths >50m, whereas other commercially important species contributed 11% to the total catch in water >50m. No kingklip Genypterus capensis were captured in the traps and shallow-water Cape hake Merluccius capensis accounted for only 0.2% of the total catch composition. The findings suggest that trap-fishing provides a new fishing opportunity in South Africa with a high catch per unit effort for the target species and a low level of bycatch.
Keywords: bycatch, mesh selectivity, panga, Pterogymnus laniarius, soak time, trap-fishery
African Journal of Marine Science 2007, 29(3): 465–472