National Marine Linefish System (NMLS) - KZN Recreational Data

Marine recreational fishing is an important socio-economic activity in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), with a large proportion of South Africa’s marine recreational anglers making use of a diverse coastline that provides a range of angling opportunities. The coastal heterogeneity and wide variety of fish species, the different facets of angling, together with the large number of participants and their widely varying motivations and expectations, makes monitoring and management of the recreational marine fishery extremely challenging. Fishery monitoring is an integral component of the mandatory compliance function of government under the Marine Living Resources Act (No. 18 of 1998). The primary objective of such monitoring is to provide the necessary information required to manage a fishery in a sustainable and equitable manner. Since 1984, the Oceanographic Research Institute (ORI), the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) and Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife (EKZNW) have collaborated in the National Marine Linefish System (NMLS), a national database of catch and effort, in an attempt to facilitate effective monitoring and management of the linefishery. Use of marine fish resources in KZN is managed by DAFF who have delegated authority to the provincial management agency EKZNW. The recreational use of these resources is monitored by EKZNW in all of their fifteen zones along the KZN coast. Fishery monitoring in KZN is primarily by means of observer-based shore angling inspections (creel-type shore patrols) and boat angling inspections (access point boat inspections). A limited quantity of voluntarily submitted data is collected via a catch return card system and from fishing tournaments.