Helping people to care for our ocean

Launched today – A mobile fish identification App for South African marine anglers and fish enthusiasts 

Finally, a fish identification App designed especially for the South African marine angler, diver and fish enthusiast.  How many times have you seen a fish and wished you knew what it was? Or wished that you could simply measure your fish and know instantly what it weighed? Or that you could work out which species of kob you had landed? Many years ago, Rudy van der Elst produced the popular ‘A Guide to the Common Sea Fishes of Southern Africa’, a book that became the ‘go to guide’ for anglers and fish lovers along the entire South African coast. But times have changed, and most people now have a cell phone in their pocket.   Imagine if you could have brilliant photos, up to date information, distribution maps, current regulations, a way to compare similar species and a length-weight calculator for 249 of the most common fish species caught along the South African coast. Dr Bruce Mann of the Oceanographic Research Institute based at SAAMBR in Durban has produced the perfect App for you. A fish scientist and a fisherman with over 30 years of experience, Bruce is the right person to compile the App. Not only does he have an in-depth knowledge of the 249 species in the App, but he also understands the needs of anglers. Bruce has spent nearly two years working on the App – to make sure that the information is accurate, and that the App is easy to use. All proceeds from the sale of the App will go towards the ORI Cooperative Fish Tagging Project. This means that every App sold will be supporting a better understanding of our linefish.

Said Dr Mann ‘We made this App because of our passion for South Africa’s linefish. Collating all the information and photos for 249 species, and producing the App took longer than we ever imagined. We hope that anglers will enjoy using the App to learn more about the fish they catch. And we hope that the App will inspire everyone with an interest in fish to care a little more about our amazing linefish.’

The App is based on linefish research undertaken in South Africa over the last 50 years and includes the most recent information available. Each species profile was carefully researched and then written so that the information is accessible and easy to understand.

Dr Larry Oellermann, SAAMBR CEO expressed his delight at the production of the App. ‘This is something I’ve dreamed of for years; a way of figuring out what species I’ve caught, and all the information I need to know about it. Now I have fifty years of linefish research, at my fingertips.”

The App was produced by MyDigitalEarth http://www.mydigitalearth.com/ and is available for both iPhone and Android phones – just go to the App store on your phone and search for Marine Fish Guide of Southern Africa.

The App includes:

  • For each of the 249 species you will find multiple high quality images, a species profile including Common names, Scientific name, Family name, Description, Distribution (both global and southern African), Habitat, Feeding, Movement, Reproduction, Age & growth, Current status, Capture and Current fishing regulations; and a simple map of the species’ distribution in southern African waters.
  • The search function enables you to search for fish names using their common name in English, Afrikaans or by using their scientific name. For those who see (or think) in pictures, Fish Groups provides a simple line drawing of the general shape of the different fish families. Clicking on the shape takes you to the family of fish in this group and you can then look at the actual images of each species in the family to find your fish.
  • Fish ID is a fun section that allows you to work out for yourself what fish species you have caught or seen. It is designed as a “smart search” using easy to see features to help you to identify your fish.
  • The Length/Weight Calculator is a useful tool that can be used by anglers who release their fish but want to know what its weight was. Simply measure the fish before it is released, enter this measurement and the approximate weight is automatically calculated according to the length/weight equation for that species.
  • My List allows you to record your own personal catches or fish observations.
  • Fishing Regulations provides useful information on the current linefish regulations for marine recreational anglers in South Africa. A general summary of the regulations as well as species-specific regulations are provided.

For more information:  https://www.saambr.org.za/marine-fish-guide-for-southern-africa-app/