Now that you realise the diversity of this system you may be drawn to come utilise it. Most activities are sustainable and basic good practice is all one needs, but for many other activities, one has to adhere to certain regulations.
This refers to the minimum size a fish may be if you are going to keep the fish after catching it. Here one would take a straight line measurement starting from its snout to the extreme of the tail (basically the furthest point of the tail). Because random checks are made regarding these sizes, you may not process the fish on board your boat while on the water. You may gut the fish but when you get to the harbour or slipway, the fish’s head and tail must be intact.
Only three bait species in the list have size limits and the way to measure these species vary. The Alikreukel is measured from the base from widest point to widest point in a straight line. Mud crab is measured across the broadest part of the carapace (back) and white mussel is measured from tip to tip in a straight line.
Some species do not have a minimum size but rather a minimum mass. If you are looking to catch these species you must have a calibrated scale on board to make sure you don’t accidently catch a fish that is regarded too small in terms of its weight.
A fish with a minimum size or mass limit will definitely have a bag limit. This refers to the amount of a species that can be harvested per permit holder per day (from 24:00-24:00). Fines are per fish found to be over their bag limit. It’s a silly mistake to make.
Bait also has bag limits and here it is very easy to underestimate how many individuals you may have already collected. Make sure you keep accurate count, because once again you will be fined for every organism over the limit.
Species not mentioned on the list have a standard bag limit of ten per person per day except for sharks, rays and skates which have a bag limit of 1 and rockcod not on the list have a bag limit of 5 per day.
Also, there is an overall cumulative bag limit of 10, irrespective of the species caught and provided that this limit does not apply to those species listed here with no bag limit, and to those with a bag limit exceeding 10.
Please refer to the list of minimum bag limits and sizes/masses.
A registered official may ask you at anytime to check for your licences/permits and your fish/bait. They will have calibrated scales and weigh boards, so make sure your measuring equipment is correct. Sometimes an official may just use a measuring tape, but if there is any doubt on the accuracy of a measurement, he/she will bring out calibrated equipment.
A Conservancy staff member may also ask to see your fish. Please do not feel intimidated or nervous, this is purely for research and the information we can gather on fishing and fish activity on the system is highly valuable to the conservation of these species. So we ask nicely that you please share this information with them.
South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI)
SASSI is an initiative aimed at promoting awareness of the sustainability of fish stock being sold and bought. Here the consumer gets the chance to decide for themselves what fish they are willing to eat knowing its status. The consumer controls the market, so it’s just another way for people who care to take some action.
There are three categories of SASSI:
These fish are being fished sustainably and can be eaten without any worries
These fish can still be bought, but one needs to be careful on how the fish was acquired. You have the right to ask.
|RED.....................||These fish are a no-go. Either these fish are not allowed to be sold as commercial fish, or they are prohibited species, or the methods by which they are being caught are not sustainable and are possibly damaging other forms of wildlife in the process Blue fin tuna is a good example.|
The SASSI status of the fish in the National Legislation list have been added where relevant. Please remember that you may NOT purchase fish from anybody besides a registered commercial fisherman. He must write you a valid invoice including his license number. If you are caught with that fish, you stand to be fined heftily.
If there is a fish you are not sure of you can send the name of the fish to 079 499 8795. If the fish is listed you will receive a text message back stating its status.