African Journal of Marine Science

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Development of fishery indicators for local management initiatives — a case study for Plettenberg Bay, South Africa

MKS Smith, CM King, WHH Sauer, PD Cowley


In attempts to achieve sustainability, ecosystem-based approaches to fisheries management are becoming increasingly applicable. Indicators to assess the success of management measures are an important component of this approach. Data from a recreational linefishery are used to develop and propose a simple set of indicators to assess local fishery sustainability. The indicators have been organised within a framework based on the ecological, institutional and social sustainability domains and scored through a rapid assessment matrix. Results indicate that the estuarine, rock-and-surf (coastal) and skiboat-based fisheries in Plettenberg Bay on the south coast of South Africa are presently non-sustainable. The institutional domain had very low scores whereas the socio-economic domain had the highest scores. The validity and usefulness of the indicators as a tool for the development of local fishery management plans are discussed.

Keywords: EAF; indicators; local management; Plettenberg Bay; rapid assessment matrix; recreational fisheries; South Africa; sustainability

African Journal of Marine Science 2007, 29(3): 511–525
AJOL African Journals Online