The three-year South African Offshore Trawl Bycatch Fishery Conservation Project is undertaking research and implementing practical actions with the goal of improving the environmental performance and sustainability of the fishing activity of SADSTIA’s members, with a particular focus on non-target species management.
The non-target species are kingklip (Genypterus capensis), monk (Lophius vomerinus), angelfish (Brama brama), Cape dory (Zeus capensis), gurnard (Chelidonichthys capensis), horse mackerel (Trachurus capensis), jacopever (Helicolenus dactylopterus), octopus (Octopus vulgaris), panga (Pterogymnus laniarus), ribbonfish (Lepidopus caudatus), snoek (Thyrsites atun) and a number of skate species.
Although these species are collectively referred to as “non target species” or “by-catch”, they are retained and processed by trawl operators and many of the lower value species, for example panga, snoek and angelfish, are valued as a source of good quality animal protein by lower income groups, particularly in the Western Cape.
In spite of their importance, the management of these species has traditionally taken a backseat to the Cape hakes (Merluccius paradoxus and M. capensis) that are the target of the deep-sea trawl fishery. The FCP seeks to improve knowledge about these non-target species and improve their management.