South Africa - FAO Area 47
Green (CURRENTLY UNDER REVISION) *
Sardines (Sardinops sagax) are small, fast growing species that form the basis of the food chain, form large schools, and have shown large fluctuations in population size. Globally, it is a well established that these species undergo decadal fluctuations and the populations of sardine and anchovy fluctuate slightly out of sync with one another due to variability in environmental conditions as well as variability in phytoplankton and zooplankton abundance. This can complicate the management of a fishery. Sardine is canned for human consumption.
Anchovy and sardine are caught using purse-seine nets in the mid-water. This method is preferred for capturing commercially important fish species which aggregate close to the water�s surface. The fishing method is not destructive to the benthic habitat or species within the benthic habitat. Bycatch in the small pelagic fishery is less than 10 %, due to their dense schooling behaviour and the fishing methods employed. Some reef species traditionally referred to as linefish e.g. yellowtail, white steenbras and kob are occasionally caught. Small pelagic fish, such as sardine and anchovy form the basis of the food web in the Benguela Current and as such they are important for the functioning of the ecosystem in the region.
South Africa�s Small Pelagic Fishery is managed through limitation on effort, through access rights and vessel licensing and limitation on catch, through annual total allowable catches (TAC) for anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) and sardine, and a precautionary catch limit for red eye Etrumeus whiteheadii and juvenile horse mackerel. The broad consensus amongst experts is that management procedures are generally effective; there are precautionary limits in place which come into effect if stock is perceived to be in trouble. Some progress has been made to further the understanding of the interactions between the small pelagic fishery and the endangered African Penguin.
*Please note, Sardine is currently under revision in terms of its WWF-SASSI sustainability rating, and more recent information incorporated into the assessment may affect its colour categorisation.
For more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.