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Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries announces 2015/16 recreational fishing season

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) wishes to announce the total allowable catch (TAC) and the 2015/16 recreational fishing season for west coast rock lobster (WCRL).

In 2011, the department after consultation with relevant stakeholders in the west coast rock lobster sector, set an objective to rebuild the 2006 biomass of male west coast rock lobster above the 75 mm CL minimum size limit, by 35% by 2021 (i.e. B75mm(2021/2006) = 1.35

To achieve the targeted objective of the recovery plan, the global TAC for the 2015/2016 fishing season has been determined at 1924.45 tons which translates to a 6.83% global increase when compared with the global TAC for the 2014/2015 fishing season.

The global TAC for the 2015/16 west coast rock lobster fishing season has been apportioned as follow:

  • Commercial Fishing (Offshore): 1243.48 tons (previously 1120.25 tons);
  • Commercial Fishing (Nearshore): 376.10 tons (previously 376.10 tons);
  • Subsistence (Interim Relief Measure) Fishing: 235.30 tons (previously 230.10 tons);  and
  • Recreational Fishing: 69.20 tons (previously 69.20.5 tons)

The 2015/16 west coast rock lobster recreational fishing season will open on Sunday, 15 November 2015 and will close on Sunday, 28 March 2016. The 2015/16 WCRL recreational fishing effort will be restricted to 21 days and will be split as follow:

  • Fishing allowed from 15 November 2015 to 15 November 2015 (1 day)
  • No fishing allowed from 16 November 2015 until 20 November 2015
  • Fishing allowed from 21 November 2015 to 22 November 2015 (2 day)
  • No fishing allowed from 23 November 2015 until 4 December 2015
  • Fishing allowed from 5 December 2015 to 6 December 2015 (2 days)
  • No fishing allowed from 23 November 2015 until 4 December 2015
  • Fishing allowed from 5 December 2015 to 6 December 2015 (2 days)
  • No fishing allowed from 23 November 2015 until 4 December 2015
  • Fishing allowed from 12 December 2015 to 13 December 2015 (2 days)
  • No fishing allowed from 14 December 2015 until 18 December 2015
  • Fishing allowed from 19 December 2015 to 20 December 2015 (2 days)
  • No fishing allowed from 21 December 2015 until 25 December 2015
  • Fishing allowed from 26 December 2015 to 27 December 2015 (2 days)
  • No fishing allowed from 28 December 2015 until 1 January 2016
  • Fishing allowed from 2 January 2016 to 3 January 2016 (2 days)
  • No fishing allowed from 4 January 2016 until 8 January 2015
  • Fishing allowed from 9 January 2016 to 10 January 2016 (2 days)
  • No fishing allowed from 11 January 2016 until 24 March 2016
  • Fishing allowed from 25 March 2016 to 28 March 2016 (4 days) 

A holder of a recreational west coast rock lobster permit shall not engage in fishing, collecting or disturbing west coast rock lobster in Area 7 (Dassen Island), the area  between a line in the north ( 270° true bearing) drawn from the co-ordinate 33°15’00”S and 18°07’00”E in respect of Zone C and as a southern boundary the northern beacon MB 1 of the rock lobster sanctuary at Melkbos Point, which is also known as Area 7 (Dassen Island).

Attention is also drawn to Regulation 51, issued under the Marine Living Resources Act 18 of 1998 (MLRA), which provides that only persons over the age of 12 years may obtain from any authorised office, a recreational fishing permit to engage in fishing, collecting, keeping, controlling, landing or transporting of, or to be in possession of not more than four WCRL per day subject to the payment of R94 per permit (R7 application fee and R87 permit fee) as determined by the Minister under section 25 of the MLRA and published under Government Notice No. 795 in Government Gazette No. 33518 of 10 September 2010. Permits are valid for the entire recreational fishing season.

Fishing times for WCRL will be from 08h00 until 16h00 and the bag limit is four per person per day and the size restriction is 80 millimetres carapace length.

No person catching WCRL with a recreational fishing permit may sell his/her catch and any WCRL caught, collected or transported must be kept in a whole state.

A maximum of 20 WCRL’s may be transported per day on condition that all the persons who caught such WCRL’s are present in the vehicle, vessel or aircraft during transportation and that such persons are in possession of WCRL recreational fishing permits.

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