Spearfishing Statistics for the Year 2000

Summary for the Year 2000

Fig. 1

A total of 534 spearfishing returns representing 4652 hours of spearfishing was received for 2000, less than the 756 returns received for 1999. With the exception of March, the majority of spearfishing effort was recorded during the winter months (June to August), coinciding with good weather periods and the annual sardine run (Fig.1).

The Winter and Spring months (June to October) recorded the highest average monthly catch rate. On average, each spearfishing outing lasted four hours, and there were usually two spearos per outing. An average of four fish weighing a total of 18kg was speared per outing., resulting in an overall average catch rate of 2.05kg/spearo/hr for 2000, higher than the 1.43kg/spearo/hr recorded in 1999.

A total of 74 species was recorded in the overall spearfishing catch during 2000. The average weights of fish reported speared (Table1) were similar to previous years. Notable catches included an Englishman of 5.4kg, a giant kingfish of 40kg, a king mackerel of 36.8kg, a dusky kob of 39kg, a seapike of 12kg, a prodigalson of 27kg, a sailfish of 50kg, a wahoo of 35kg and a cape yellowtail of 18kg.

Table 1. Average and maximum weights of selected species (kg) recorded speared during 2000. ( Kosi Bay to Port Edward )
  Avg. Max.   Avg. Max.   Avg. Max.
King Mackerel 6.8 36.8 Kaakap 4.9 8.5 Garrick 7.9 14.0
Queen Mackerel 5.0 9.0 Queenfish 4.1 9.0 Baardman 1.9 6.0
Yellowbelly R/cod 2.5 5.0 Spadefish 3.1 6.0 Spotted Grunter 3.8 5.6
Bronze Bream 1.8 3.5 White Musselcracker 6.2 10.0 Natal Fingerfin 1.3 3.0

SOUTHERN KWAZULU-NATAL COAST - Amanzimtoti to Port Edward

A total of 91 catch cards was received from southern KZN during 2000. The most commonly speared fish were: Natal Fingerfin (13%), Rubberlips (11%), Bronze Bream (10%), Knifejaws (8%), Rockcods (8%), Parrotfish (6%), German (5%), King Mackerel (3%), Baardman (3%), Englishman (4%), Queen Mackerel (4%). Bottom fish constituted 84% of the catch by number. A catch rate of 4.0kg/spearo/hr was recorded during 2000, higher than the average catch rate recorded in 1999 (3.1kg/spearo/hr).
Fig. 2

CENTRAL KWAZULU NATAL COAST - Umdloti to Amanzimtoti

A total of 109 catch cards was received from the Central KZN coastline during 2000. The most commonly speared fish were:
Queen mackerel (16%), Bronze Bream (11%), Rockcods (10%), Baardman (9%), Shad (9%), Knifejaws (6%), Rubberlips (4%), Spadefish (3%), Kingfish (3%), Garrick (3%). Bottom fish made up 58% of the catch by number. The catch rate of 2.3 kg/spearo/hr recorded for this area was higher than the catch rate recorded in 1999 (1.35kg/spearo.hr).
Fig: 3

NORTHERN KWAZULU NATAL COAST - Tugela river to Umdloti

A total of 89 catch cards was received from the Northern KZN coast during 2000. The most commonly speared fish were:
Queen mackerel (23%), King mackerel (12%), Bronze Bream (12%), Rockcods (12%), Knifejaws (5%), Rubberlips (5%), Cavebass (5%), Baardman (5%). Bottom fish made up 53% of the total number of fish speared. A catch rate of 1.59kg/spearo/hr was recorded during 2000, similar to the 1.69kg/spearo/hr recorded in 1999.
Fig.4

ZULULAND - Kosi Bay to Tugela river

A total of 245 catch cards was received from Zululand during 2000. Due to the restriction on the spearing of reef fish in the Maputaland and St Lucia Marine Reserves, the catch was dominated by gamefish (89%). The most commonly speared fish were: King Mackerel (42%), Queen mackerel (22%), Kingfish (11%), Kaakap (4%), Queenfish (2%), Longfin Yellowtail (3%). A catch rate of 1.64kg/spearo/hr was recorded during 2000, higher than the average catch rate recorded in 1999 (1.17kg/spearo/hr).
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 : [email protected]