Catch of the Day #029

Ryan Nienaber

Strong south-easterly winds were gusting over the Cape Peninsula last week. They are expected to continue well into this week too. We’ve had very limited safe-weather gaps to get out to sea and catch fresh fish… and catches have been sporadic. We have still had some line-caught tuna; look out for April – it’s when when tuna are in their best condition.

Our iconic West Coast Rock lobster season has drawn to a close. We have a very small quota allocated to our family that we harvest by ring net pulling them by hand. This method has almost zero bycatch or damage to the ocean floor. Each crayfish is measured to a size limit. Our boat has a vessel monitoring system onboard and the department’s inspectors weigh-off and record our catch at offload. That way they make sure we conform to the rules set our by the department and the total allowable catch set for the sector in each zone.

Want to see how we harvest the crayfish? Watch a 20 second clip here.

Earlier this month, the West Coast experienced a massive red tide. A red tide is a natural phenomenon which is caused by a dense accumulation of microscopic algae that causes the crayfish to walk out the ocean. It is estimated that some 500 ton of crayfish walked out in the Elandsbay region. This crayfish is not fit for consumption. It’s important to make sure you support a legal fishery when buying crayfish so that the resource can be best preserved. It also means that you know what you're eating is safe.

Your truly,

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