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2016/17 WEST COAST ROCK LOBSTER TAC AND RECREATIONAL FISHING SEASON

South Africa - The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) has announced the total allowable catch (TAC) and the 2016/17 recreational fishing season for west coast rock lobster (WCRL).

The global WCRL TAC for the 2016/2017 fishing season has been determined at 1924.08 tons which is the same as the global TAC for the 2015/2016 fishing season.

The global TAC for the 2016/17 west coast rock lobster fishing season has been apportioned as follows:

· Commercial Fishing (Offshore) : 1204.48 tons (previously 1243.48 tons);

· Commercial Fishing (Nearshore): 376.10 tons (previously 376.10 tons);

· Small-scale Fishing (Interim Relief Measure) Fishing : 235.30 tons (previously 235.30 tons);

· Small-Scale Fishing Northern Cape: 39 tons;

· Recreational Fishing : 69.20 tons (previously 69.20 tons); and

· Foreign fishing: 0 tons (previously 0 tons).

The 2016/17 fishing season for the Commercial Offshore and Nearshore sectors and Small-scale (Interim Relief Measure) will open on the 16 November 2016 for all zones.

The 2016/17 west coast rock lobster recreational fishing season will open on Saturday, 26 November 2016 and will close on Monday, 17 April 2017. The 2016/17 WCRL recreational fishing effort will be restricted to 21 days and will be split as follows:

· Fishing  allowed from 26 November  2016 to  27 November 2016 (2 days)

· No fishing allowed from 28 November  2016 until 9 December 2016

· Fishing  allowed from 10 December  2016 to 11 December 2016      (2 days)

· No fishing allowed from 12 December 2016 until 15 December 2016

· Fishing  allowed from 16 December  2016 to 18 December 2016      (3 days)

· No fishing allowed from 19 December 2016 until 23 December 2016

· Fishing  allowed from 24 December 2016 to 27 December 2016 (4 days)

· No fishing allowed from 28 December 2016  until 30 December 2016

· Fishing allowed from 31 December 2016 to 2 January 2017 (3 days)

· No fishing allowed from 3 January 2017 until 6 January 2017

· Fishing allowed from 7 April 2017 to 8 January 2017 (2 days)

· No fishing allowed from 9 January 2017 until 13 January 2017

· Fishing allowed from 14 January 2017 to 15 January 2017 (2 days)

· No fishing allowed from 16 January 2017 until 14 April 2017

· Fishing allowed from 15 April 2017 to 17 April 2017 (3 days)

Updated catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) and Fisheries Independent Monitoring Surveys (FIMS) indicated that Super-area 7, which has been managed under Exceptional Circumstances for the previous two seasons, has returned to a threshold that is above Exceptional Circumstances.  For the 2016/17 west coast rock lobster fishing season, Super-area 7 (Dassen Island), the area between a line in the north (270° true bearing) drawn from the co-ordinate 33°15’00”S and 18°07’00”E in respect of Zone C and as a southern boundary the northern beacon MB 1 of the rock lobster sanctuary at Melkbos Point, will be opened for fishing for the Commercial (Offshore), Small-scale (Interim Relief Measure) and Recreational fishing sectors.

Attention is also drawn to Regulation 51, issued under the Marine Living Resources Act 18 of 1998 (MLRA), which provides that only persons over the age of 12 years may obtain from any authorized office, a recreational fishing permit to engage in fishing, collecting, keeping, controlling, landing or transporting of, or to be in possession of not more than four WCRL per day subject to the payment of R94 per permit (R7 application fee and R87 permit fee) as determined by the Minister under section 25 of the MLRA and published under Government Notice No. 795 in Government Gazette No. 33518 of 10 September 2010. Permits are valid for the entire west coast rock lobster recreational fishing season.

Fishing times for WCRL will be from 08h00 until 16h00 and the bag limit is four per person per day and the size restriction is 80 millimetres carapace length. No person catching WCRL with a recreational fishing permit may sell his/her catch and any WCRL caught, collected or transported must be kept in a whole state.

 

A maximum of 20 WCRL’s may be transported per day on condition that all the persons who caught such WCRL’s are present in the vehicle, vessel or aircraft during transportation and that such persons are in possession of WCRL recreational fishing permits.