By: Dr Judy Mann
Shad, also known as elf, are one of South Africa’s most popular angling fish and they are pursued by hundreds of thousands of anglers every year. Their streamlined bodies are perfectly shaped for speed through the water and their silvery coloration, light beneath and metallic green or blue above, helps them to blend in with the ocean.
Shad are widely distributed in the warm temperate coastal waters of the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The South African stock is, however, distinct which means that we alone have the responsibility to look after the shad along our coast. Shad are found in sandy and rocky areas from the shore down to depths of 100m.
There are a limited number of shad in the ocean. If anglers catch more than can be replaced by their breeding, over-fishing results. This results in fewer shad being caught and their average size becoming smaller. To prevent this, there are fishing regulations in place to control the number of shad that are caught. These regulations ensure that everyone catches their fair share and that shad can continue to be caught in the future.
Obey the fishing regulations