The recreational fishing season for West Coast rock lobster kicks off on Saturday 30 November.
In response to a listener's emailed complaint that the government brochure detailing permitted areas for fishing is not clear, John Maytham follows up with Wendy West who is the deputy director for Large Crustaceans Fisheries Management.
West acknowledges that the available brochure is two seasons old, but says the information about fishing versus marine protected areas (MPAs) is still relevant.
That's aside from two new protected areas gazetted recently, namely the Robben Island MPA and the Namaqua National Park MPA. These two are not included on the map.
In the brochure there is a map as well as text. If you read the two together it's quite clear where you can and where you can't catch. It's colour coded.— Wendy West, Deputy director - Large Crustaceans Fisheries Management
All of the information is still relevant, apart from the change in the dates.— Wendy West, Deputy director - Large Crustaceans Fisheries Management
The last brochure that was printed is for the 2017/18 season. Because of our budget constraints we haven't been able to print out brochures since.— Wendy West, Deputy director - Large Crustaceans Fisheries Management
These are the dates for the season opening on Saturday:
- From 30 November 2019 to 1 December 2019 (2 days);
- From 14 December 2019 to 15 December 2019 (2 days);
- From 21 December 2019 to 22 December 2019 (2 days);
- On 26 December 2019 (1 day);
- On 1 January 2020 (1 day);
- From 4 January 2020 to 5 January 2020 (2 days);
- From 10 April 2020 to 11 April 2020 (2 days).
West elaborates on the reasons for keeping the total allowable catch (TAC) at the same amount as last season, including stock recovery and economic impact
There was consideration over the recovery of the stock and what is the sustainable catch and what are the chances of recovery at that particular TAC.— Wendy West, Deputy director - Large Crustaceans Fisheries Management
We also needed to consider the economic impact on the commercial sector if we had to reduce the TAC even further, since it was for two seasons before it was reduced by a massive 43%.— Wendy West, Deputy director - Large Crustaceans Fisheries Management
Listen to the conversation on the Afternoon Drive with John Maytham:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Recreational lobster fishing: 'Brochure two-seasons-old but still applies'