Spearfishing Statistics for the Year 1998

Summary of Spearfishing Statistics for 1998

A total of 775 spearfishing returns was received for 1998, lower than the 837 submitted in 1997.
Fig. 1

A total of 74 species was recorded in the spearfishing catch for the whole of KZN, higher than the catch diversity in the ski-boat, shore or estuarine fisheries. The average weights of fish speared during 1998 (Table 1) were similar to previous years. Sailfish (30kg) had the highest average weight, followed by wahoo (22kg), dusky kob (16kg) and milkfish (16kg). Notable catches included a dusky kob of 46kg, a sailfish of 42kg, a wahoo of 35kg and a yellowspotted kingfish of 15kg.

TABLE 1. Average and maximum weights of popular species (kg) recorded during 1998. (Port Edward to Kosi Bay).
  Avg. Max.   Avg. Max.   Avg. Max.
King mackerel 6.7 25 Kaakap 3.6 6.0 Garrick 8.6 15.3
Queen mackerel 4.5 10 Queenfish 5.5 9.7 Baardman 2.4 7.0
Yellowbelly r/cod 2.8 9.2 Spadefish 3.1 5.8 Spotted grunter 3.1 7.2
Bronze bream 1.9 3.0 White Musselcracker 5.6 12.0 Natal fingerfin 1.4 3.0

SOUTHERN KWAZULU-NATAL COAST - Amanzimtoti to Port Edward

A total of 116 catch cards was received from southern KZN during 1998. The most commonly speared fish were: Knifejaws (18%), Natal Fingerfin (14.4%), Bronze Bream (10.4%), Rockcods (8.7%), Queen Mackerel (7.5%), Rubberlips (6.9%), King Mackerel (6.2%), Baardman (5.1%), Garrick (3.6%), Spadefish (2.5%). Bottom fish constituted 79.5% of the catch by number. A high catch rate of 3.06kg/spearo/hr was recorded for this section during 1998.
Fig. 2

CENTRAL KWAZULU NATAL COAST - Umdloti to Amanzimtoti

A total of 208 catch cards was received from the Central KZN coastline during 1998. The most commonly speared fish were:
Baardman (10.2%), Knifejaws (9.4%), Spotted Grunter (8,7%), Bronze Bream (8.6%), Rockcods (7.1%), Queen Mackerel (6,7%), White Musselcracker (5.0%), Spadefish (4.4%), Rubberlips (4.2%), King Mackerel (3.6%), Kingfish (3.6%), Natal Fingerfin (3.4%). Bottom fish made up 77.8% of the catch by number. The catch rate of 2.17 kg/spearo/hr recorded for this area was lower than the catch rate recorded in 1997 (3.92 kg /spearo/hr).
Fig. 3

NORTHERN KWAZULU NATAL COAST - Tugela river to Umdloti

A total of 218 catch cards was received from the Northern KZN coast during 1998. The most commonly speared fish were:
King Mackerel (23.5%), Queen Mackerel (20.6%), Baardman (7.3%), Rockcods (6.9%), Knifejaws (5.7%), Spadefish (4.5%), Rubberlips (3.6%), Bronze Bream (2.4%), Natal Fingerfin (2.4%), Stonebream (2.4%), Kingfish (2.4%). Bottom fish and gamefish were of equal importance (47.8% and 52.2%, respectively). A catch rate of 1.73kg/spearo/hr was recorded during 1998 for this section of coast.
Fig. 4

ZULULAND - Kosi Bay to Tugela river

A total of 233 catch cards was received from Zululand during 1998. Due to the restriction on the spearing of reef fish in the Maputaland and St Lucia Marine Reserves, the catch was dominated by gamefish. The most commonly speared fish were: King Mackerel ( 45.4%), Queen Mackerel (34.1%), Kingfish (8.7%), Kaakap (3.0%), Queenfish (1.3%), Seapike (1.3%), Wahoo (1.3%), Sailfish (1.0%). The catch rate for this area was(1.54kg/spearo/hr) similar to the (1.50kg/spearo/hr) for 1997.
Fig. 5

The Oceanographic Research Institute thanks the spearos and the spearfishing clubs, particularly the Wahoo Diving Club, who have supported this programme over the years, and we encourage your continued support. This brochure was produced as a service to spearos by the Oceanographic Research Institute, P.O. Box 10712, Marine Parade, Durban, 4056.

Tel: (031) 3373536, Fax : (031) 3372132, E-mail : seaworld@dbn.lia.net