Fishing

East Coast Rock lobster Crayfish. (Panulirus homarus)

With thanks to www.kznwildlife.co.za

IDENTIFICATION
Rock lobsters or spiny lobsters are popularly known as crayfish, but should be distinguished from the freshwater crayfish, which are considerably less popular in restaurants! Rock lobsters like crabs, belong to the crustacean family and have a horny exoskeleton (carapace) but they have a long tail ending with a tail fan. The East Coast rock lobster is brick red with orange spines and blue-green markings on the head.

There are two horns next to their eyes but unlike other species, there are no spines between these horns. The rock lobsters that may be sold in restaurants are either West Coast rock lobsters (Panulirus lalandii) or deep-water rock lobsters (Palinurus spp.) both have spines between their horns.

DISTRIBUTION
The East Coast rock lobster occurs from central Mozambique and Madagascar to East London. They inhabit rocky reefs in the surf zone at depths of 1-36 meters.

FEEDING
The most important prey of the East Coast rock lobster is the brown mussel (Perna perna). They sever the byssus threads that hold the mussel and can crush the thin edge of the shell using their mouthparts. They also feed on limpets and will scavenge on the seabed.

GROWTH
Rock lobsters grow slowly, reaching sexual maturity after approximately 3 years when their carapace is 50-60 mm long. The legal size limit is 65 mm, to ensure that animals caught have had a chance to breed. If a rock lobster loses a leg or feeler, a new one is grown but then their overall growth is slower. It is therefore important not to damage undersize rock lobsters. Try to determine if an animal is the right size before attempting to catch it.

REPRODUCTION
Breeding occurs in summer and that is why we have a closed season from 1 November to the end of February: to protect the lobsters while they are brooding their eggs so these can hatch and replenish our stocks. Male rock lobsters place a packet of sperm on the underbelly of females. When the female is ready to lay eggs, she scratches open the packet to fertilise her eggs and then places them on the paddles (pleopods) under her tail. The eggs are tended there until they hatch. The larvae spend about five months in the currents out at sea and undergo metamorphosis 11 times before returning inshore. Larger female rock lobsters produce three times more eggs than smaller females.

FISHERY
In KwaZulu-Natal, rock lobsters may only be collected by permitted recreational harvesters. This sector collect 138 000 to 450 000 kg of rock lobster each year.

MANAGEMENT
The East Coast rock lobster stock is managed using a closed season, size limits, bag limits and gear limits. It is also illegal to possess any rock lobster carrying eggs

Fishing permit fees increase from 1 October 2010

UPDATE on the proposed exorbitant fee increases. Not so bad after all:

The currently gazetted prices, with effect from 1 October 2010, for fishery permits are as follows:

  • i. Scuba diving in MPA's - R85 / R42 for a four (4) week temporary permit
  • ii. West Coast rock lobster - R87
  • iii. East Coast rock lobster - R87
  • iv. Mollusks including octopus, squid, worms, other invertebrates and aquatic plants - R87 / R50 "
  • v. Mud crab - R87 / R50 "
  • vi. Marine aquarium fish - R87 / R50 "
  • vii. Angling - R69 / R45 "
  • viii. Spearfishing - R87 / R50 "
  • ix. Use of cast or throw net - R87 / R50 "
  • x. Additional fee per vessel (only payable by the skipper) for recreational fishing from such a vessel where applicable - R87 / R50 "

    From page 11, Government Gazette 795 , 10 September 2010

  • Warning: Permits required for Wild Coast

    This is important information if you are planning on going on holiday, day trip or fishing along the Transkei Wild Coast:

    You will need a permit to travel to cottages that are not on proclaimed or designated roads. (E.g. the road to the Jacaranda.) If you do not have a permit for these routes you may be charged by the Green Scorpions and given a spot fine of R2500.

    If you are a cottage owner and your cottage is not on a proclaimed road you will need to present your PTO (Permission To Occupy) at the Environmental office and acquire a permit to travel on the track to your cottage. No permits will be awarded to anyone without a valid PTO. Cottage owner permits are valid for one year.

    If you are traveling to a cottage that is not on a proclaimed road you will need a letter from the PTO holder which you can present at the offices to acquire a temporary permit. There is no charge for the permit. The permit is valid for one month.

    This applies to anywhere within 1km from the high-water mark along the Wild Coast from Kei Mouth up to Port Edward. You may not drive a motor vehicle in this exclusion zone without a permit. This includes quad and motor bikes, etc. If a proclaimed road goes all the way down to the sea you can then walk left or right to your angling spots from that point. If the road stops 1km before the sea and a bush path carries on towards the sea, you will have to walk from where the proclaimed road ends. You may not ride these trails.

    Contact details to aquire a permit are:

    edwina.oates@deaet.ecape.gov.za

    Tel: Edwina Oates - 043 740 4068

    Fax: 086 519 3200

    Thanks to www.fishingec.co.za for the information.

    Marine Protected Areas

    The following Nature Reserves are Marine Protected Areas, and have a strictly "no fishing allowed" policy.

    Dwesa-Cwebe Marine Protected Area

    No fishing is allowed between the western bank of the mouth of the Suku River (in the District of Elliotdale) and Human’s Rock (in the district of Willowvale), including the tidal portion of the Mbashe River, extending six nautical miles seawards of the high-water mark.

    Hluleka Marine Protected Area

    No fishing is allowed adjacent to the Hluleka Nature Reserve (in the Ngqeleni District), extending six nautical miles seawards from the high-water mark.

    Mkambati Marine Protected Area

    No fishing is allowed between the eastern bank of the mouth of the Mtentu River and the western bank

    of the mouth of the Msikaba River, including the tidal portions of these two rivers.

    Fishing in the Eastern Cape (and Wild Coast)

    Check this great site: www.fishingec.co.za ... and add your fishing photos & stories there.

    Fishing the Eastern Cape is for the whole of the Eastern Cape, and people should add their fishing photos & stories from East London, Port Elizabeth, Kei Mouth, Port st Johns, Port Alfred, Kidds Beach, Mabaleni Dam or wherever you are in the EC. You can add catches from fly fishing, rock & surf, estuary angling, deep sea or whatever fishing you do.

    Licenses

    LICENSES
    Fishing, spearfishing, boating and crayfish licenses (amongst others) are available from any Post Office in South Africa.

    CLOSED SEASONS
    Elf/Shad: 1 September -30 November
    Galjoen: 15 October -last day February
    Crayfish: 1 November - end February (bag limit is 8 crayfish per person/license.)

    East Coast Rock Lobster (Crayfish) Regulations
    1. Closed season: 1 November to the last day of February of the following year, both dates inclusive.

    2. Minimum size: 65 mm - measured in a straight line from the point where the tail meets the body to the tip of the spine between the rock lobster’s eyes.

    3. No person may collect more than eight east coast rock lobster per day.

    4. No person may be in possession of or transport more than eight east coast rock lobster at any time.

    5. No person shall engage in fishing, collecting or disturbing east coast rock lobster with the use of a vessel.

    6. No person shall engage in fishing, collecting or disturbing any East Coast rock lobster with a trap other than:

    6.1 a flat circular trap with no sides and which diameter does not exceed 30 cm;

    or

    6.2 by means of baited hooks.

    For more information phone: (021) 402-3911 or consult the Amended Regulations (R24 of 14 January 2000) in terms of the Marine Living Resources Act, 1998

    MARINE RECREATIONAL FISHING

    GENERAL REGULATIONS
    1. No person shall, except on authority of a recreational permit obtainable from the South African Postal Services, engage in recreational fishing.

    2. No person shall sell, barter or trade any fish caught through recreational fishing.

    3. No recreational fishing permit is transferable from one person to another.

    4. A persona of a recreational permit shall not use any artificial breathing apparatus, other that a snorkel.

    5. No person shall, engage in fishing, collect or disturb any fish by means of a gaff, club, flail, stick, stone or similar implement.

    6. No person shall engage in fishing, except for octopus, cuttlefish or squid, by the jerking of a hook or jig in the sea jigging), with the intention of impaling the fish thereon.

    7. No person shall engage in the fishing, collection or disturbing of any fish with a speargun in a tidal river or tidal lagoon.

    8. No person shall use any cast net for fishing from sunset to sunrise.

    9. No person shall disturb, catch, kill or be in possession of any dolphin or any part or product derived thereof.

    10. No person shall, except with the authority of a permit, disturb, catch or kill any whales at any time, or approach closer than 300 m to a whale.

    11. No person shall, except with the authority of a permit, attract by using bait or any other means, any great white shark, or catch, attempt to catch, kill or attempt to kill any great white shark, or purchase, sell or offer for sale any part or product derived thereof.

    12. No person shall, except with the authority of a permit, damage, uproot, collect or land or attempt to damage, uproot, collect or land any live or dead coral.

    13. No person shall, except with the authority of a permit, engage in fishing, collecting or disturbing any live or empty pansy shell.

    14. No person shall, except with the authority of a permit, engage in fishing, collecting or removing any aquatic plants, except for own use and in quantities not exceeding 10 kg aquatic plants, however, 1 kg dead shells or 50 kg shellgrit per day is permitted without a permit.

    15. No person shall, except with the authority of a permit, damage, pick, uproot, collect or land or attempt to damage, pick, uproot, collect or land any live or dead sea fans or sea pens.

    16. No person shall, without a permit issued by the Director-General, culture any marine organisms.

    17. No person shall, except with the authority of a permit, catch any fish or collect any aquatic plants for commercial purposes.

    For more information phone: (021) 402-3911 or consult the Amended Regulations (R24 of 14 January 2000) in terms of the Marine Living Resources Act, 1998

    Sardine Run

    SailfishSailfish
    Every year in winter, vast shoals of sardines that have spawned in the waters of Antarctica travel the cold-water currents south of the East Coast of South Africa. Sometimes a combination of wind and current will allow a tongue of cold water to intrude into the warm waters of the Indian Ocean – and then millions upon millions of sardines come close enough to be seen from shore or even washed up on the beach. This phenomenon, which occurs no- where else on earth, can be witnessed from the beaches of the Wild Coast – if you are lucky enough to be there at the right time.

    Humpback WhaleHumpback Whale
    From the air, the shoals look like huge dark clouds in the water. Each shoal has several ‘doughnuts’ – rings of clear water where the sardines are taking evasive action from sharks. On the surface of the sea the presence of shoals is signalled by huge flocks of sea-birds that follow the shoals. The surface seethes like boiling water as fish, predators and birds thrash in furious pursuit and escape.

    On the beach the shoals come right into the shallows and the sea becomes alive and bright silver. The natural bounty is almost incomprehensible, and leads to a human condition called ‘Sardine Fever’, where bystanders rush into the water and catch the little fish in every single receptacle imaginable, including plastic wash-baskets, hats, aprons – even generous underwear is pressed into service.

    The sardines are then sold to the unlucky few who could not get their own, or taken home for many future meals. The best way to cook these fish, say the pundits, is on an open fire, at sunset, right there on the beach, with plenty of rock salt and lemon juice.

    (All pictures copyright Alexander Safanov)

    http://www.grindtv.com/outdoor/blog/27919/sardine%20run%20off%20south%20...

    Fishing

    SailfishSailfish
    Fishing

    The Wild Coast has long been a popular destination for sport fishermen. Shore angling from the rocky coastline rewards the angler with catches of Garrick, kob, steenbras, shad, Kingfish, galjoen and hottentot. The boat anglers fishing from surf launched ski boats have a chance at yellowtail, tuna, yellowfin, swordfish, mackerel, marlin, sailfish, barracuda, cob and queen fish.

    Fishing enthusiasts please see www.fishingec.co.za for more info.

    The Sardine Run

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