Between 2016 and 2019, the South African Offshore Trawl Bycatch Fishery Conservation Project worked with SADSTIA members to improve the management of non-target species in the deep-sea trawl fishery.
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 back seat to the management of the Cape hakes that are the target of the deep-sea trawl fishery. The FCP has improved knowledge about non-target species and enhanced the systems used for their management.