Noble move by chokka sector leads to sorry tale

Dieter Maritz with a pidnose grunter

The venture by the commercial squid fishing sector to pull up lines for a period of three months from the beginning of April through to the end of June has been truly noble.

However, there have been reports that foreign fishing vessels (long-line tuna boats) operating off our coast have taken full advantage of this “vacuum” that has been temporarily created by de- focusing from their prime activity.

This questionable activity of catching squid has been reported and hopefully this will be fully investigated.
Certain reports suggest it is a joint venture between this country and another Far East country.

The question I ask is: why undertake such an initiative during a period and in an area where voluntary actions of a “lines up” time has been engaged to help protect resources?

If so, not only is this counterproductive but it destroys any future attempts by the commercial fishery to want to aid in conservation assistance to improve their images in the eyes of those who scrutinise them so harshly at times.

Onto more pleasant angling matters.

Judging by the photos I have received of late, the Southern Cape is definitely producing more quality fish at the moment, although opportunity exists all round for a catch.

Today’s photo is of a pignosed grunter of about 10kg caught at Kleinkrantz near George this past period on bloodworm (classic steenbras bait) by Dieter Maritz.

The deep-sea anglers have also been out this week with reports of a few tuna taking lure, but the sizes are wanting at the moment and the anglers seem hopeful things will improve. I am told the water temperature needs to increase a few degrees.

Visiting the Marine Traffic website I noticed a very high concentration of fishing vessels a little beyond our 200 nautical mile boundary offshore, which suggests the fish are in that vicinity.

I also noticed a tanker in the midst of this concentration of craft, which does raise a few questions. Are these boats not being re-fuelled and replenished out there?

How much presence do we have when it comes to protecting our waters?

The website of the fisheries department appears to have been hacked too. It appears some alterations have been made to the Marine Recreational Activity Information Brochure.

Shad numbers have been decreased to two fish per person per day and the keep length increased to 35cm. There may be other alterations that I have not noticed yet.

I have been informed that this has not been promulgated yet and whether it will be remains in question. Refer to the hard copies that are in circulation for the time being.

Keep a copy with you and on inspection insist to see which copy the authorities are using.

This might save you a lot of time and money!

This weekend’s weather: A westerly wind prevails throughout the weekend, with the intensity increasing from sunrise to sunset.

Low tide is at 10.40am and the barometer increases throughout this period, being 1025hPa by midnight on Sunday.

The new moon was yesterday, creating good prospects for the weekend, and the early part of the week.

There is little chance of rain for the next week, so take time off while the weather lasts.

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