Open season for recreational fishermen

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

It’s open season for recreational fishermen and women, as the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) announced that as of 2 December 2017, fishers can make their first catch for the 2017/18 recreational fishing season for west coast rock lobster (WCRL). 

The 2017/18 WCRL recreational fishing season will open this December and will close on Monday, 2 April 2018. 

Based on the unchanged total allowable catch (TAC) of 69.2 tons for the recreational fishing sector, the 2017/18 WCRL recreational fishing effort will remain at 21 days and will be split as follows:

  • Fishing  allowed from 2 December  2017 to  3 December 2017 (2 days)
  • No fishing allowed from 4 December  2017 until 8 December 2017
  • Fishing  allowed from 9 December  2017 to 10 December 2017 (2 days)
  • No fishing allowed from 11 December 2017 until 15 December 2017
  • Fishing  allowed from 16 December  2017 to 17 December 2017 (2 days)
  • No fishing allowed from 18 December 2017 until 22 December 2017
  • Fishing  allowed from 23 December 2017 to 26 December 2017 (4 days)
  • No fishing allowed from 27 December 2017  until 29 December 2017 
  • Fishing allowed from 30 December 2017 to 1 January 2018 (3 days)
  • No fishing allowed from 2 January 2018 until 5 January 2018
  • Fishing allowed from 6 January 2018 to 7 January 2018 (2 days)
  • No fishing allowed from 8 January 2018 until 12 January 2018
  • Fishing allowed from 13 January 2018 to 14 January 2018 (2 days)
  • No fishing allowed from 15 January 2018 until 29 March 2018
  • Fishing allowed from 30 March 2018 to 2 April 2018 (4 days)

The department has reminded keen fishermen that that they have to be over the age of 12 years to apply for a permit from an authorised office for fishing, collecting, keeping, controlling, landing or transporting of the lobster. 

According to the Marine Living Resources Act 18 of 1998 (MLRA), Regulation 51, fishers may not be in possession of more than four WCRL per day, subject to the payment of R94 per permit. The fee includes R7 application fee and R87 permit fee, as determined by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries under section 25 of the MLRA and published under Government Notice No. 795 in Government Gazette No. 33518 of 10 September 2010. 

The permits are valid for the entire west coast rock lobster recreational fishing season. 

Terms and conditions for fishing

Fishing times for WCRL will be from 08h00 until 16h00.

The bag limit is four per person per day and the size restriction is 80 millimetres carapace length.

Recreational fishers may not sell their catch and any rock lobster caught, collected or transported must be kept in a whole state. 

A maximum of 20 rock lobster 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 have valid WCRL recreational fishing permits. 

The permits are obtainable at the Post Office and at the Customer Service Centre at the DAFF, Fisheries Branch on the Ground Floor, Martin Hammerschlag Street, Foretrust Building, Foreshore, Cape Town. - SAnews.gov.za

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