Environment, Forestry and Fisheries announces 2019/20 West Coast Rock Lobster total allowable catch and Recreational Fishing season

The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries wishes to announce the 2019/20 West Coast Rock Lobster (WCRL) Total Allowable Catch (TAC) and the Recreational Fishing Season.

The TAC has been determined at 1084 tons. The apportionments per sector are as follows:

  2018/2019 TAC (tons) 2019/2020 TAC (tons)
Commercial Fishing (Offshore) 563.91 563.91
Commercial Fishing (Nearshore) 170.25 170.25
Recreational Fishing 38.76 38.76
Small-Scale Fishing sector (Interim Relief Measure) 170.25 170.25
Small-Scale Fishing sector (Nearshore allocation)
Small-Scale Fishing sector (Offshore allocation) 140.83 140.83
Foreign Fishing 0 0
1084 1084

The Department will, similarly to the past fishing seasons, apply effort limitation to restrict the daily bag/catch limits and number of fishing days. The commercial and small-scale fishing sectors are authorised to undertake fishing for four (4) months in each Super-area/Zone. The start and end dates for the fishing season per sector and Super-area/Zone are as follows:

Area Catch period
Commercial Nearshore, Interim Relief/ Small-Scale: Nearshore Commercial Offshore, Small-Scale: Offshore
Super-area 1+2 15 Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, 15 Feb  
Super-area 3+4 15 Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb, 15 Mar 15 Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb, 15 Mar
Super-area 5+6 15 Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb, 15 Mar  
Super-area 7   Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar
Areas 8 and 11 15 Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb, 15 Mar Jan, Mar, Apr, May
Area 8 (Deep water)   Jun, Jul
Areas 12, 13 and 14 15 Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb, 15 Mar  

The 2019/20 WCRL recreational fishing effort is limited to 12 days. The 2019/2020 WCRL recreational fishing season will open on Saturday, 1 November 2019 and will close on Saturday, 11 April 2020. Fishing will be allowed as follows:

  • From 30 November 2019 to 1 December 2019 (2 days);
  • From 14 December 2019 to 15 December 2019 (2 days);
  • From 21 December 2019 to 22 December 2019 (2 days);
  • On 26 December 2019 (1 day);
  • On 1 January 2020 (1 day);
  • From 4 January 2020 to 5 January 2020 (2 days);
  • From 10 April 2020 to 11 April 2020 (2 days).

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.

The Government Gazette Notice in respect of the recreational fishing season will be issued.

Recreational west coast rock lobster permits are obtainable at the Post Office.

For further information please contact:
Wendy West (Deputy Director: Large Crustaceans Fisheries Management
Tel: 021 402 3120
E-mail: WendyW@daff.gov.za

Albi Modise,
Cell: 0834902871
E-mail: amodise@environment.gov.za