Spearfishing Statistics for the Year 1999

Summary of Spearfishing results for 1999
Fig. 1

A total of 756 spearfishing returns representing 7300 hours of spearfishing was received for 1999, similar to the amount received in 1998. Recorded effort was fairly evenly spread over all months of the year (Fig 1), with the exception of the August to October period, when seasonal north-easterly winds tend to limit underwater visibility. The average catch rate also did not show marked variation between months, and the overall average catch rate of 1.43kg/spearo/hr was somewhat less than the average catch rate recorded in 1998 (2.12kg/spearo/hr).

A total of 76 species was recorded in the overall spearfishing catch during 1999. The average weights of fish reported speared (Table 1) were similar to previous years. Notable catches included a sailfish of 52kg, a dusky kob of 40kg, a king mackerel of 30kg, a queen mackerel of 11kg, a giant kingfish of 35kg, a rubberlip of 9kg and a seapike of 12kg.

Table 1. Average and maximum weights of selected species (kg) recorded during 1999. ( Kosi Bay to Port Edward )
  Avg. Max.   Avg. Max.   Avg. Max.
King Mackerel 7.5 30 Kaakap 4.1 10 Garrick 7.4 12
Queen Mackerel 4.7 11 Queenfish 5.7 10 Baardman 2.1 7.2
Yellowbelly R/cod 2.6 6.3 Spadefish 3.1 5.1 Spotted Grunter 3.0 5.6
Bronze Bream 1.7 3.8 White Musselcracker 5.2 9.5 Natal Fingerfin 1.4 4.8

SOUTHERN KWAZULU-NATAL COAST - Amanzimtoti to Port Edward

A total of 89 catch cards was received from southern KZN during 1999. The most commonly speared fish were: Natal Fingerfin (23%), Rubberlips (15%), Knifejaws (15%), Bronze Bream (10%), Rockcods (7%), Queen Mackerel (3%), Englishman (3%), Baardman (5%), King Mackerel (5%), German (2%). Bottom fish constituted (89% of the catch by number). A catch rate of 3.1kg/spearo/hr was recorded during 1999.
Fig. 2

CENTRAL KWAZULU NATAL COAST - Umdloti to Amanzimtoti

A total of 167 catch cards was received from the Central KZN coastline during 1999. The most commonly speared fish were:
Baardman (12%), Bronze Bream (10%), Knifejaws (7%), Natal Fingerfin (7%), Rubberlips (3%), Spadefish (3%), Kingfish (3%), Rockcods (6%), Queen Mackerel (7%), King Mackerel (7%). Bottom fish made up 75% of the catch by number. The catch rate of 1.35 kg/spearo/hr recorded for this area was lower than the catch rate recorded in 1998 (2.17kg/spearo/hr).
Fig. 3

NORTHERN KWAZULU NATAL COAST - Tugela river to Umdloti

A total of 144 catch cards was received from the Northern KZN coast during 1999. The most commonly speared fish were:
King Mackerel (21%), Queen mackerel (18%), Rockcod (10%), Bronze Bream (7%), Rubberlip (7%), Natal Fingerfin (6%), Baardman (5%), Spadefish (2%), Slinger (4%), Knifejaws (3%), Stonebream (2%). Bottom fish made up 56% of the total number of fish speared. A catch rate of 1.69kg/spearo/hr was recorded during 1999, similar to the 1.73kg/spearo/hr recorded in 1998.
Fig. 4

ZULULAND - Kosi Bay to Tugela river

A total of 356 catch cards was received from Zululand during 1999. Due to the restriction on the spearing of reef fish in the Maputaland and St Lucia Marine Reserves, the catch was dominated by gamefish (98%). The most commonly speared fish were: Queen mackerel (33%), King Mackerel (32%), Kingfish (15%), Longfin Yellowtail (5%), Kaakap (4%). A catch rate of 1.17kg/spearo/hr was recorded during 1999, less than the catch rate recorded in 1998 (1.54kg/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 : seaworld@dbn.lia.net