Shore fishing at Keurbooms Strand
CapeNature’s Thobani N. Mbonane, Nature Conservator for the Robberg Marine Protected Area contributed the following fascinating insight into the history of fishing along the Keurbooms coastline.
Fishing Along Keurbooms Strand: Rich in History
Are you looking to take on a new hobby this Summer? Fishing along the Keurbooms Strand has certainly become a popular pastime for many tourists.
However, for the community in this area it is not a new trend at all. In fact, fishing along the South African shoreline is an old traditional practice dating back as far as 1885 when the first angling club was formed in KwaZulu Natal. Sometime before this period, history indicates several indigenous fish methodologies were used by coastal communities to harvest shellfish and fish.
Today shore fishing is predominately practiced by two groups, recreational and subsistence anglers.
CapeNature spokesperson Loren George explains the difference between the two. “The definition of recreational fishing is when an individual fish for leisure or sport, he or she may not sell or barters his or her catch. Subsistence angler is catching fish for personal consumption or for the consumption of his or dependents, he or she may engage in the sell or barter of small excess catch in his possession.” She says. Both angling groups require a licence/permit to exercise the above right in terms of Marine Living Resources Act 18 of 1998 (MLRA). Fishing regulations are enforced by Fishing Control Officers, designated by the minister.
While South African’s are encouraged to enjoy this historic novelty, it is key to note that a total of 9% of the approximately 3650 km shoreline in the country is protected by a network of no take zones and marine protected area, managed by different conservation agencies nationally. Some of the areas within our shoreline are inaccessible due to the landscape topography. The rest of the shoreline is available or partially available for sustainable use such as fishing, depending on factors such as development and land use practices around the coastline.
Locally within the Bitou jurisdiction several areas are available for the public to exercise this right, namely Look Out Beach, Central Beach, Robberg 5, Robberg 2, and the greater Keurbooms area. The enforcement of the fishing regulations in these areas is conducted by officials from the Department of Agriculture Forestry & Fisheries. Formal proclaimed conservation areas such as the Tsitsikamma a MPA and Robberg MPA are managed SANParks and CapeNature.
The majority of catch along our beautiful beaches in the Keurbooms area include Cape Stumpnose, Kob -kabeljou), Strepie, Mullets, Black tail, Mussel Cracker, White Steenbras.
The marine ecological processes and the species life cycle will impact where the fish are located. Cold fronts or upwelling process will in the end determine what you catch during a particular time of the year.
It is important to remember two of the above species have a closing season, namely Elf and Galjoen which means anglers are not allowed to catch these during closed season. George says, “Anglers further need to familiarise themselves with prohibited species which are never to be caught. Depending on the severity of the transgression enforcement officials may issue a fine, open a case with the police or even arrest an angler for any non-compliance with the law.”
|Species||Bag Limit & Size (per angler)||Closing|
|Cape Stumpnose||5 & 20 cm||None|
|Strepie (Karanteen)||10 & 15 cm||None|
|Mullets||50 (size limit none)||None|
|Black tail||5 & 20 cm||None|
|White Steenbras||1 & 60 cm||None|
|Mussel Cracker||2 & 60 cm||None|
|Elf||4 & 30 cm||01 October – 31 November|