Manager   •   about 8 years ago

Problem Statement 15-10: "Fish identification, information, and monitoring app for South African recreational fishers"

Draft - The development of a fish identification and information APP for South African fishermen.
Recreational fishing is a very popular pastime in South Africa. Surveys suggest an estimated 15% of the coastal residents fish in the sea on a regular basis. Shore angling for linefish is by far the biggest sector. Shore angling effort is highest in, and adjacent to, urban areas (e.g. within eThekwini Municipality) and lowest in remote rural or protected areas, where there are few access roads or angling is prohibited. Over 84 species of linefish from 39 families have been recorded in the shore anglers’ catches. In addition to the shore anglers, recreational fishermen fish from boats along the coast. More than 86 species of linefish from 27 families have been recorded in the recreational boat anglers’ catches. Both shore and boat angling also occur in several estuaries (e.g. Durban Bay, St Lucia). There is much overlap between the fishing sectors, with a large proportion of anglers fishing in both marine and estuarine environments. In recent years, a large charter boat industry has developed as well, that operates from harbours and from popular launch sites. Charter boats provide a means for recreational anglers who do not own vessels to fish at sea. It is therefore an extremely popular tourist activity. It is clear that there is enormous fishing pressure on the country’s linefish stocks.

Problem Statement
Draft Problem statement:
To encourage catch-and-release in the recreational linefishery, a mobile phone application is proposed to educate anglers about popular fishery species as well as to educate anglers on proper fish handling techniques, so that they can be identified, measured and released without harm. The proposed mobile application should therefore provide at least the following:
• A fish identification feature with associated information on regulations, life-histories, distribution, and vulnerability status.
• Anglers also frequently wish to know fish weights and fish age. Accurate determination of both weight and age requires that the fish be killed. However, weight and age can be determined from the length of a fish through the use of published length-weight and length-age equations. Unlike the measurement of weight and age, measuring the length of a live fish is relatively easy and imposes little harm on the animal. This encourages the successful rapid release of live fish. The application would need to use available published length-weight and length-age equations to allow anglers to quickly convert from measured length to both weight and age.
• From time to time, anglers may catch fish that have been physically tagged for research by participants of the Oceanographic Research Institute’s Cooperative Fish Tagging Programme. This programme is aimed at informing management by collecting data on fish growth, migration and fishing mortality on a national scale for use in fish stock assessments. Currently, tagged fish are reported via e-mail or telephone. The application should also provide a facility for reporting a tagged fish to the Oceanographic Research Institute electronically.

Core Category
Fisheries Management; Conservation

Organization Name
South African Association for Marine Biological Research

Organization Address
1 king Shaka Ave, Point, Durban; Post: P O Box 10712, Marine Parade, 4056, Durban South Africa

Organization Point of Contact (Name)
Jone Porter

Organization Point of Contact (Title)
Director Education

Organization Point of Contact (Phone Number)

Organization Point of Contact (Email Address)

Focus Area

Solution Category


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