An assessment of the inshore trawl fishery of South Africa
South Africa’s 22 recognised commercial fisheries are largely managed independently, despite the resources they exploit, and the space they operate in, supporting multiple sectors. Increasingly, an Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF) approach is considered as a way of integrating the management of fisheries, ecosystems and exploited marine resources. The hake directed demersal trawl sector is South Africa’s most important commercial fishery. Anchor undertook a comprehensive review of the inshore component of the hake trawl fishery to determine the ecological, social and economic impacts of this fishery on South Africa’s coastal fisheries. Using a Marxan approach, overlap at a spatial, temporal and resource exploitation scales level was determined. Cumulative exploitation of key resources and bycatch of Endangered, Threatened and Protected species was also evaluated. Using these results, the legislative and policy opportunities for new and improved management measures were comprehensively assessed. Measures to reduce conflict, over exploitation, alleviate environmental damage and improve sustainability for South Africa’s coastal fisheries were put forward.