Fishing Owl News Letter – August 2008
Hi Fellow Fisher folk,
With the kind permission of The Federation Of South African Fly Fishermen (FOSAF)
I have included their newsletter which gives an insight into the tremendous amount of work going on in the background by this dedicated group of anglers.
FOSAF are also doing an incredible amount to ensure the future of yellowfish with research being done through their Yellow Fish Working Group.
Flyfishing has been in the newspapers recently. An example is The Sunday Times of August 3 which featured an article titled “Multimillion-rand trout industry on the line” and which mentioned the effect that the proposed regulations on alien and invasive species (in terms of NEM:BA) would have on the industry if no exemptions were granted. FOSAF’s environmental sub-committee is fairly optimistic that its proposals will be taken into consideration when the regulations are finalised and that a win-win outcome is in sight. This will result in improved protection for our threatened indigenous species while taking into consideration the needs of the trout industry. What some of the officials in DEAT possibly did not recognise when drafting the regulations was that trout is not a multimillion but a multibillion Rand industry. To update yourself on the very lengthy and comprehensive negotiations on this matter between FOSAF’s environmental sub-committee and DEAT go to our website at www.fosaf.co.za <http://www.fosaf.co.za/> where there is a special block titled NEM:BA at the top of the main page.
Another matter that continues to feature in the media is the possible use of a piscicide in a study, which is part of the Greater Cederberg Corridor Biodiversity Programme. Below is a statement by our chairman on this project. Please note that this letter has been first circulated to the YWG Executive Committee and therefore has its approval.
Dear YWG members,
As you may be aware there is a huge debate going on around the possible rotenoning of three Western Cape and one Eastern Cape stream. Some of you might have seen the very poorly constructed article in Weekender (Business Day) that made certain unscientific claims about how the trout are controlling bass numbers and includes other generally ill-informed ecological innuendoes about the purposes of the project. In fact, most of what is being printed and discussed in the tackle shops make the same inaccurate and sensationalised statements about the purpose of the project and the use of rotenone.
First, I have been assured by Cape Nature officials that this project is not about the eradication of trout and other alien fishes but is more about river conservation, river rehabilitation and creating refuges for already threatened yellowfish and other endangered indigenous species.
Our understanding is that three streams in the Cederberg (Krom, Rondegat, Suurvlei) and one in the Eastern Cape (upper Krom River, Joubertina) have been selected for rehabilitation. This is a pilot project and the element of risk must not be ignored. The targeted streams hold alien species, most hold bass (mainly smallmouth), some bluegill and even illegally translocated Cape kurper while one stream also has some small rainbow trout. Because the Cape kurper come from other parts of the Western Cape, that does not make them endemic to this system and therefore they carry the same status as bass and trout – invasive alien to that area. The intention is to remove invasive alien fishes from these priority indigenous fish waters in order to reintroduce or provide more living space to locally occurring indigenous fishes, including yellowfish (clanwilliams & sawfin) which occur in two of the rivers. Habitat of all of these is becoming extremely limited and the importance of refuges like this is far more important to the ecology of these rivers than the existing and highly marginal angling opportunities for alien fishes on offer. However, if the project is successful one or more of these streams might become a small stream angling spot for these indigenous species and this might outweigh the economic advantages currently enjoyed by a few anglers who now benefit from fishing these streams. This is not the objective of the project, which is river rehabilitation, but a possible and positive spin-off.
As mentioned earlier there is an element of risk and this is mainly because of the possible use of piscicides (rotenone). The piscicide has been used as a management tool for eradicating alien fishes in the United States in an effort to rehabilitate a number of trout streams. They too have harmed their river ecology and the genetic integrity of their trout by unwise alien fish introductions and are now undertaking to rehabilitate them by re-introducing the beautiful native trout that used to occur in those particular river systems. Apparently the secret lies in the uses of dosages, as fish species are susceptible to different concentrations of the piscicide. Trout and bass are amongst the most sensitive species. At the proposed dosages required to kill trout and bass, it is highly unlikely that the chemical will kill everything in the stream. Experience from the USA suggests that many aquatic invertebrates could survive a trout or bass specific treatment. The fish can be reintroduced and those who know rivers will know that the invertebrates will re-colonise the stream naturally if the system is left alone to recover by itself. With management intervention, and the correct use of dosages, this process will be speeded up. It would appear that successful applications depends very much on well trained personnel who will be responsible for the dosages.
In the light of current information the YWG would not like be seen to be defending any particular position which is for, or against, the use of piscicide and will wait for the outcome of the EIA. We would like to support good conservation biology methodology and trust CapeNature will abide by the recommendations that result from the EIA. The scoping study and subsequent EIA should highlight all the risks and remedial methods which will determine how the rehabilitation of the target stream will be managed.
We support the conservation objectives of Cape Nature and their efforts to rehabilitate the four target streams that fall within or near protected areas. This is good practice and we understand this is part of Cape Nature's Provincial mandate to conserve the natural biodiversity of the Western Cape. It should also be mentioned that this project is only one component of the very ambitious Greater Cederberg Corridor Biodiversity Programme which aims to rehabilitate the whole area and not only the rivers.
We also note with appreciation the recent agreement signed between Cape Nature and the Cape Piscatorial Society, which secures trout fishing in the premier trout streams of the south-western Cape. Several of the streams are on nature reserves, and Cape Nature has shown its ability to recognise the importance of trout angling in the province, even within its protected areas, whilst committed to saving the unique and highly threatened fishes that the Western Cape has.
The YWG is not against trout, bass or bluegill but these are alien specifies that have had a negative ecological impact on these sensitive environments identified by fish conservation experts. While the economic and commercial importance of sport angling in the country is appreciated, these four systems that are being rehabilitated are not important from that perspective. Where there are projects that aim to conserve biodiversity, alien species cannot take precedence. It is our understanding that these projects are not about trout or bass eradication but the rehabilitation of extremely important catchments areas.
Chairman, Yellowfish Working Group
I have noticed that when something poses a threat to anglers and their sport, a lot of talk and not much action takes place. Anglers could join FOSAF to show that they care and also derive some of the benefits they offer.
Government is only paying lip service to the major threat to all things that live in and out of water AND THAT IS POLLUTION!!!!
Government is oblivious to the enormous contribution to the economy derived from the recreational angling industry. Also included is the outcome of a survey done by The South African Deep-sea Angling Association which validates the aforementioned statement.
S.A.DEEP SEA ANGLING ASSOCIATION
P.O.BOX 4191, CAPE TOWN 8000
Synopsis of the Economic Impact of Deep Sea Angling in South Africa in 2007
Recreational Angling Bigger than Rugby & Cricket.
At the initiative of the South African Deep Sea Angling Association(“SADSAA”) ,an in- depth study of the contribution of recreational angling to the economy of South Africa was conducted by a team of experts of the University of Stellenbosch under the leadership of Prof. Marius Leibold, PhD.
The final document was handed to S.A.Deep Sea Angling President, Mr. Marius Vermaak by Prof. Leibold today (July 11th 2008) at an occasion at the Stellenbosch Business School, Cape Town.
As a result of increasing pressures on recreational anglers from various sources in South Africa, (notably Marine & Coastal Management,) SADSAA decided to facilitate this Project at a cost of R508,000 in the interests of its members. It has become essential in recent years that a scientific study of this nature be undertaken in order not only to assist the various Government agencies in the law- making process on various levels but also to underline the value of organized angling to the country-to date either completely ignored ,not understood and never thoroughly researched by Government. This is the first ever scientific, in-depth research undertaken into recreational angling in South Africa. The S.A.Deep Sea Angling Association and its members should be complimented with the initiative in undertaking and funding a Project of this nature.
Research has shown that a fish landed by the recreational angler generates up to 70 times more in income than that same fish if caught commercially -on condition the fish are available.
Most SADSAA tournaments are tag and release where the angler have a photo taken, the fish tagged and released-to be caught again later in line with it’s strong conservation ethic. The bow hunter can immobilize an animal ,have a photo taken and the animal lives again for the next photo without any pressure on the source. In commercial fishing the source is irrevocably destroyed.
One of the main motivational factors behind this research is to make Marine & Coastal Management aware of the value of recreational angling and to ensure a practical decision making process.
In 2007 approximately 2, 5 million anglers spent R18.8 billion on their sport.
More than 2.48 million informal (non club orientated) anglers contributed R15 billion direct to the economy.
Sport & Recreational angling is at least 80% bigger than commercial fishing and at least 15 times larger professional hunting.
Annually,31,860 anglers participate in Deep Sea angling ,being one of the major facets of Sport & Recreation Angling in South Africa, causing R6.8 billion in total economic impact in South Africa in 2007.
The total economic impact of Deep Sea Angling consists of a total of three major parts viz R5.3 billion direct economic impact (direct expenditure effects) on South Africa’s economy, R 1,33 billion indirect economic impact (multiplier economic effects) and R 556 million induced effects (subsequent income and job effects) on the economy. Subtracted from this are economic outflows (leakages) totalling R415 million in 2007.
Of the 31,860 participants in Deep Sea Angling as a sport and recreational activity,9844 are formal participants (members or affiliated members of organized clubs), while the informal participants (non-club environment participants) total 22,372-a ration of 30:70 between formal :informal participants.
The economic effects of inflows (foreign tourism expenditures on Deep Sea Angling and wider leisure tourism) total R2.5 million p.a. and economic outflows (payment for imported goods and services for Deep Sea angling total 415 million p.a). These amounts have been accounted for in the above figure of R6.8 billion.
Comparisons to major wildlife sporting activities in South Africa, such as big game hunting are tenuous, but it is reliably estimated that Deep Sea angling is at least 5 times bigger in economic impact than big game hunting. In comparison to other major sport activities, Sport and Recreational angling as a whole-including Deep Sea angling-is estimated to be bigger in economic impact than rugby and cricket in S.A. combined (incl. economic inflows from international competitions) In the USA, recreational angling’s economic impact is reported as being bigger than that of golf and tennis combined.
There is an estimated total of 18,500 boats participating in Deep Sea Angling in South Africa in 2007,with a total (factored use-percentage) value of R3,7 billion. In/outboard engines totalling37,000 have a value of R1,88 billion. Together with the cost value of tow vehicles and trailers, and some other fixed cost items, the direct fixed investment value used in Deep sea Angling totals R10,2 billion.
The average expenditure (amortized fixed costs p.a. plus annual variable costs) for Deep Sea angling in 2007 per deep sea angler (total of 31,860)amounts to R213,433-00 p.a.
The variable (non-fixed) direct expenditures for Deep Sea Angling in 2007 totals R2,6 billion p.a. of which fuel costs (as one category) form by far the largest percentage-29% of the total variable expenditures per annum.
It is estimated that the total economic impact of Sport & Recreational Angling-including Deep Sea angling-is at least 40% larger than that of commercial fishing in South Africa. In most other countries the economic value of commercial fishing is smaller than that of Sport & Recreational Angling.
For more information contact:
S.A.DEEP SEA ANGLING ASSOCIATION
H.Steyn Tel/Fax (021) 976 4454
Public Relations Officer
Fishing Owl hosts both the SASACC, FOSAF and SAFFA websites among others as a service to anglers in the country.
SA Guide Dogs Fishing Festival 5th September 2008 to be hosted at Brookwood Trout Estate, all proceeds will go toward the much needed training of the guide dogs. Contact the Fund Raiser Noel Midland 011 464 3858 or visit http://www.fishingowl.co.za and click on Open Competitions for the information and the entry form please support this worthy fund raiser.