Impact Of Angling On Fish In The Eastern Cape & Fishing Pressure & Overfishing From The Shore

Sustainability of recreational anglingThis research project is one of the most important objectives in the study. All events and observations will be mentioned here and from that accurate conclusions from the findings will be made to determine how vulnerable this piece of coast line is to over fishing and over exploitation. Hopefully I can raise awareness of this issue in the area which will then hopefully lead to more people releasing fish which will increase the sustainability of the inland fishery along the 60 kilometers of coast line. Below are recordings of events witnessed, possible theories and conclusions as the project goes a long...

Recordings Of Positive & Negative Events

The events spoken about hear are in no particular order. The aim is to see how recreational fishermen operate in these waters and to collect data about the negative or positive impacts anglers are having along this part of the Eastern Cape coast. If you are unfamiliar with the areas discussed below please refer to this page. Below are my opinions of events witnessed.

Over the years I have witnessed some heart breaking events, and aggression has been shown towards me on numerous occasions when I tried to inform some of the people of their wrong doings. The spots I have mainly fished at since I was teenager has been Bat's Cave and The Rocking Horse. These two spots are also a favourite location for many holiday anglers to fish. During December and January the release rate of fish is dismal to say the least. The only fish I see being released during the holiday periods are by some anglers who actually know the size limits and bag limits. I still do not understand these anglers however. Why would you keep your daily limit of 10 fish? When will you eat those 10 fish? And how much of those fish will be wasted or thrown away? It really disturbs me to see people come to a place I have been catching and releasing all my life and just destroy it in front of my eyes. Its not only the fish. People with no licenses happily pick 100's of Black Mussels off the rocks, with leaves the area looking very baron. Many Octopus are taken as well as marine worm. It is almost like a competition during these times to see who can kill the most! Then we get the "responsible anglers" who release under size fish. I have seen it on many occasions where the angler has taken his time measuring the fish, after he has dragged it over the rocks, handled it with dry hands and then just throwing it into a pool or back into the ocean. The amount of fish I have personally tried to revive from these happenings is mind blowing. Most of my efforts are unsuccessful. My perception of a "fisherman" is someone who loves the ocean, loves to catch fish and enjoys a fresh fish he has caught every now and then. A fisherman who releases most of his catch in an appropriate manner by reviving it. However this is not so.

Holiday makers annoy me with the above antics but there is nothing more disheartening to see people who live in the towns or townships showing no regard for their 'home'. At the time of writing this I recently witnessed a group of 6 ladies from the township of Marselle close by catching +/- 80 undersize fish. I did not see a fish that reached their size limit amongst the Grunter, Blacktail, Kob and Steenbras that were taken on that occasion. I understand these women might be poverty stricken, but I have no respect for any person who breaks the law. And one can easily relate this event to stealing out of someone else's house. It's not fair. The same goes for the friendly anglers that live in the town of Kenton. Many of the guys I have had the privilege to fish with are my kind of people, respectful towards the sea and the fish and they have an absolute love for angling! And they do their best to play their part by releasing fish. There are a handful of others however, who I have fished alongside, that will take more than their limit of Strepie and Bronze Bream for example, come back the next day and complain how bad the fishing has become. With all due respect to these fishermen, what do they expect when they take out so many slow growing resident fish every week of every month of every year?

And then we get to the competitive anglers, who for some reason get annoyed when they catch fish. When I go fishing and I catch one fish, no matter the specie or the size I am happy. As an angler I want to catch fish and presumably others do as well? But some competitive guys I have fished alongside will catch Barbel after Barbel and throw them on the beach, sometimes after cutting their heads off. These Barbel will stay there until the tide washes them back into the ocean or the Gulls get at them. I do not know what the point of that is? I understand many people get angry when they catch Barbel (Of which there are actually several species which very few anglers are aware of) but just release it safely instead of killing it. I don't understand peoples mentality. The same goes for Puffers and Klipfish and I have even seen undersize Blacktail treated in this manner. The way the area concerned is going, when all the "prime" target fish are gone and become locally extinct, we will not be able to even catch Barbel!

I could fill an encyclopaedia sized book with all my views and what I have seen over the years, and this all makes me think... How many responsible anglers are there actually out there? Hopefully I can get this strong message across to more people, so we can start saving before we have nothing left.


What Is The Impact Of Angling In The Area?

At the moment angling in the area is unstable and very 'hot and cold'.

How Are The Fish Stocks Coping?

Not enough evidence. But a decline has been noticed.

How Sustainable Is The Current Level Of Fishing?

The way things are going, the current levels are not healthy and many juvenile fish are being taken out and many breeding fish are being taken out by holiday makers.