70 years of helping people to care for our ocean

ORI Cooperative Fish Tagging Project’s 86th wave garrick tag recapture.

This wave garrick was originally tagged by Mark Mthembu, a local subsistence fisherman, who was assisting ORI senior scientist Bruce Mann and his team during an iSimangaliso Wetland Park Marine Protected Area (MPA) surf-zone fish monitoring and tagging project field trip. The fish was tagged on the 2nd May 2019 at Beacon 13 a turtle marker north of Bhanga Nek, Kosi Bay, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and measured 345 mm fork length (FL). It was recaptured by Dwayne Boshoff on the 4th February 2023 at exactly the same place, measuring 440 mm FL. This fish grew 86 mm during its 3.7 years time at liberty, and was released to fight another day.
Wave garrick are a widespread Indo-Pacific species found from Eastern Africa, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Eastern and Western Australia. In South African waters, they are mainly found along the KZN coast and northwards into Mozambique, but seldom seen south of Port St Johns in the Eastern Cape. They inhibit shallow coastal waters, often preferring the rough surf-zone along sandy beaches and rocky ledges. Juveniles are found in the shallowest part of the surf-zone where they are sometimes stranded by receding waves. Tag-recapture studies have shown that this species is fairly resident in the surf-zone with a home range of a few kilometers in extent. However, some tagged individuals have undertaken more extensive movements in excess of 100 km.
They mature at a length of 25 cm FL and an age of just over 2 years. They can reach a maximum length of 60 cm total length and a weight of 2.5 kg and have been aged up to 6 years. The South African population, of this fast-growing species, has been assessed and is believed to be relatively lightly exploited with the population still at an estimated 75% of its theoretical unfished level. However, there are signs of local depletion in heavily fished areas. They have been evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List (2017), and have not been assessed on the SASSI List. Catch rates and mean size of fish in no-take areas of the iSimangaliso MPA are considerably greater than in adjacent exploited areas showing that this species benefits from spatial protection.
For more interesting information on our linefish species, be sure to download our new ORI Fish App Marine Fish Guide for Southern Africa from Google Play (Android) or the App Store (iPhone). Be sure to also check out our websites at www.oritag.org.za and www.saambr.org.za/for-fishermen/ as well as follow our ORI-CFTP Instagram page @ori_tagging_project. We would like to thank our taggers and the members of the angling public for their ongoing support and reporting these exciting recaptures to us. Please keep up the good work!​