White Stumpnose

(Rhabdosargus globiceps)

Wit stompneus, Vyfvinger

1. What is it?

White stumpnose (Rhabdosargus globiceps) are relatively fast growing, long-living, endemic species making them susceptible to overfishing. They are considered over fished across most of their range and are listed on IUCN’s list for threatened species as Vulnerable.

How was it caught or farmed?


White stumpnose are caught using traditional linefish methods rod and reel or handline. The linefishing industry often operates from small ski- and deck. Linefishing is a relatively selective fishing method with few impacts on the marine environment and little accidental bycatch.

Inshore demersal trawl

White stumpnose are caught as bycatch in inshore trawl fishery for hake (MSC certified) and sole using trawl nets. In the inshore zone, trawl nets are dragged along the sea bed at depths in the area from the coast to the 110m isobath or to 20 nautical miles from the coast, whichever is the greater distance. The offshore zone is defined as offshore of this inshore zone; inshore trawl sector vessels are also permitted to fish in the offshore zone although they are limited in actuality by vessel size/power. Demersal trawling is known to damage the seabed; the extent and impact of this damage remains unknown. This methodology is not selective, however, and a number of other benthic species are often caught in the nets as well. Seabird bycatch was highlighted as an issue and the subsequent introduction of tori lines (lines covered in coloured streamers making attachment lines more visible to birds) has led to a decrease in bird mortalities.

3. Where is it from?


White stumpnose are endemic to the coastal region of the Kei River to southern Angola. . Management for the sector is considered partly effective. In South Africa this sector is principally managed through a total allowable effort (TAE) limitation and there are additional restrictions to protect overfished species such as bag (10 pp/day) and minimum size (25 cm) limits for recreational fishers. There is some concern over the impact of the small-scale fishery rights allocation beyond the recommended TAE and the continuously growing recreational sector.

Inshore demersal trawl

White stumpnose are caught between Cape Agulhas and the Great Kei River at depth shallower that 110 m. Management is considered to be partly effective. Management is mainly directed at the target species hake (MSC certified) and sole in the form of Total Allowable Catch (TAC) and permit limitations. Some ecosystem-based management measures have been implemented, such as the use of tori lines to minimize seabird interactions and limited fishing areas. There is a fishery conservation project ( FCP ) presently underway seeking to test a co-management approach that would bring under management 10 non-target species in the sector. Additional ecological concerns are little information on impacts to sensitive shark, skates and ray populations as well as impacts to the seabed. Efforts are underway to improve the scientific observer coverage at sea for this sector to better understand ecosystem impacts.