(Liza richardsonii)

Haarders, mullet, southern mullet, Bokkom

1. What is it?

The South Africa mullet (Liza richardsonii) is a coastal, bottom dwelling fish found off rocky points and sandy beaches. Adults occasionally enter estuaries which serve as nursery areas. Earlier estimates of abundance suggest that they are over fished in areas with high fishing effort. Current stock level estimates are considered to be data deficient.

2. How was it caught or farmed?

Beach seine

South African mullets are caught in the beach seine fishery. Beach seine are long nets that are dragged along the sandy ocean floor. The impact on the marine environment is unknown. Bycatch can consist of a large portion of the catch and may contain vulnerable species. Current estimates of discard measured according to weight are 4%.

Gill nets

South African mullets are also caught in the gillnet fishery. Gill nets consist of a wall of netting suspended in the water column. The mesh sizes of the gill nets are designed to only allow the fishes head through the net and catches in their gills when the fish tries to back out. This method is not selective resulting in high levels of bycatch that may contain vulnerable species.

3. Where is it from?

South African mullet are caught all along the coast of South Africa. Management is through a Total Allowable Effort (TAE) limit with a set number of operators in a net fishing area. Increased illegal fishing is a major issue for management and negated any recovery caused by a decrease in TAE. In addition, management of threatened species accidentally caught is minimal due to poor implementation & lack of compliance by fishers.