By: Natasha Rambaran
Last week, WWF South Africa and SAAMBR hosted the KZN launch of “The Responsible Angler – Guidelines for Responsible Recreational Fishing in South Africa”, at the uShaka Sea World aquarium.
Recreational angling is a popular activity enjoyed by over 1.3 million South Africans. The Responsible Angler Guide was a collaboration between WWF South Africa, the South African Shark Conservancy (SASC), the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB), Rhodes University and the Oceanographic Research Institute (ORI), a division of SAAMBR. The Responsible Angler Guide covers topics which include; permits, handling of fish, minimizing catch-induced trauma, contributions to citizen science by gathering catch-and-release data and other best practice principles.
Junaid Francis, from WWF-SA’s Sustainable Fisheries Programme welcomed guests to the launch. Guests included Chairmen and Environmental Officers from KZN ski-boat and shore-angling clubs, high-profile anglers, tackle store owners, angler magazine editors and other prominent stakeholders. ORI senior scientist, Dr Bruce Mann, a collaborator on the guide, provided an overview of responsible angling. Barry Wareham, a well-respected Springbok angler, gave an interesting talk on the evolution of recreational angling in South Africa. Afterwards, guests had the opportunity to engage with the speakers and each other. The Responsible Angler Guide was well-received and we look forward to seeing the principles implemented along our coast.