The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) wishes to announce the 2018/2019 West Coast rock lobster (WCRL) total allowable catch (TAC) and the recreational fishing season. A TAC of 1 084 tons has been determined for the 2018/2019 fishing season, which is a 43,6% reduction when compared to the TAC of 1 924,08 tons determined for the 2017/2018 fishing season.

The apportionments per sector are as follows:

The department will, as in past fishing seasons, apply effort limitation to restrict the daily bag/catch limits and number of fishing days. The commercial and small-scale fishing sectors are authorised to undertake fishing for four (4) months in each super-area/zone.

The start and end dates for the fishing season per sector and super-area/zone are as follows:

The 2018/2019 WCRL recreational fishing effort is limited to 12 days. The 2018/2019 WCRL recreational fishing season will open on Saturday, 15 December 2018 and will close on Sunday, 21 April 2019. Fishing will be allowed as follows:

  • From 15 December 2018 to 16 December 2018 (2 days)
  • From 22 December 2018 to 23 December 2018 (2 days)
  • On 26 December 2018 (1 day)
  • From 29 December 2018 to 1 January 2019 (4 days);
  • From 19 April 2019 to 21 April 2019 (3 days)

Attention is also drawn to Regulation 51, issued under the Marine Living Resources Act 18 of 1998 (MLRA), which provides that only persons over the age of 12 years may obtain from any authorised office, a recreational fishing permit to engage in fishing, collecting, keeping, controlling, landing or transporting of, or to be in possession of not more than four WCRL per day subject to the payment of R94 per permit (R7 application fee and R87 permit fee) as determined by the minister under Section 25 of the MLRA and published under Government  Notice No. 795 in Government Gazette No. 33518 of 10 September 2010. Permits are valid for the entire West Coast rock lobster recreational fishing season.

Fishing times for WCRL will be from 08h00 to 16h00 and the bag limit is four per person per day; the size restriction is 80 millimetres carapace length. No person catching WCRL with a recreational fishing permit may sell his/her catch and any WCRL caught, collected or transported must be kept in a whole state. The Government Gazette notice in respect of the recreational fishing season will be issued. Recreational West Coast rock lobster permits are obtainable at the Post Office. – Press release