Red steenbras also lost to exploitation

I RECEIVED considerable reaction and objection from last week’s article regarding the litter problem that exists along our coast’s shoreline. The formal angling sectors assure me that they take considerable care at these events to leave the environment in a ship-shape state. Indeed, I am sure this is the case and it is an example to be followed by all.

I just believe special care should be exercised regarding the spots anglers use and the condition they leave them in should be basic practice. Let’s not give the critics the ammunition they seek.

The red steenbras has been removed from our recreational angling list as a result of the exploitation of this now vulnerable species.

They start their life cycle in the Tsitsikamma Nature Reserve where spawning takes place and then progressively move up the East Coast to the Wild Coast, where the mature fish then return to Tsitsikamma to spawn.

These fish are extremely slow growers and it takes approximately 15 years for them to reach sexual maturity. Being very powerful, these fish are extremely exciting to catch and are targeted for this reason and usually suffer “barotraumas” as a result of being hauled up from the depths below.

Releasing these giant critters is not possible due to the stress they endure. Being huge specimens – often about 60kg – when they reached the Transkei Coast, they were exploited for sale as they produced good financial rewards. Sadly once again we have placed ourselves in a situation where we have further restrictions introduced.

I am led to believe that the shoreline from Coega Harbour to Woody Cape is also going to be closed to angling with the exception possibly of formal organised angling events. Unfortunately as a result more pressure is placed on the other areas around our coast.

The East Coast of South Africa and in particular the Wild Coast offers tremendous angling destinations from shore and estuarine to deep sea opportunities, with accommodation ranging from camping to luxury establishments.

The Kei River has one of the last remaining ferries in the country. The other is at Malgas on the Breede River. This ferry on the Kei allows access to the north to prime angling spots around Trennery’s. To the south is Morgan’s Bay with a beautiful lagoon for the light tackle lure angler. This lagoon has mostly a blind mouth that receives salt water during spring tides and storm activity.

Morgan’s Bay was named after AF Morgan, who was master of the royal naval survey ship the Barracouta that surveyed that area back in 1822. Further south is the picturesque Double Mouth area with high cliffs jutting out to sea and a beautiful sandy bay in between. Check out this site: www.traveground.com/wildcoast

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