The Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for the West Coast Rock Lobster (WCRL) 2020/2021 fishing season has been announced.
Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister, Barbara Creecy, said a TAC of 837 tons is the limit for the fishing season, taking into account the impact of the pandemic on the fishing industry, as well as the highly depleted status of the WCRL resource, and lower-than-expected resource status indicators.
“COVID-19 had a negative impact on market demand for the majority of the 2019/20 season, with losses being incurred by the West Coast Rock Lobster fishing sector. By increasing the catch allowance for the new season, the intention is to assist the sector in their economic recovery,” Creecy said.
The 2020/21 TAC is a 22.8% reduction of the TAC of 1084 tons for the 2019/20 fishing season.
The 2020/21 WCRL recreational fishing effort is limited to 12 days between 28 November 2020 and 3 April 2021.
Fishing will be allowed as follows:
- From 28 November 2020 to 29 November 2020;
- From 12 December 2020 to 13 December 2020;
- From 26 December 2020 to 27 December 2020;
- From 1 January 2021 to 2 January 2021;
- From 9 January 2021 to 10 January 2021; and
- From 2 April 2021 to 3 April 2021.
Creecy said that only persons over the age of 12 can apply for a recreational fishing permit allowing the fishing, collecting, keeping, controlling, landing, transporting of, or possession of not more than four WCRL per day.
“A permit costs R94 and can be purchased at the Post Office. A recreational fishing permit is valid for the entire season. WCRL may be caught between 8am until and 4pm daily. 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 their catch. Any lobster caught, collected or transported must be kept in whole,” the minister said.
The Government Gazette Notice, in respect of the recreational fishing season, will be published.