Elf

(Pomatomus saltatrix)

Shad, Tailor

1. What is it?

Elf or shad, (Pomatomus saltatrix) are relatively fast growing, migratory, schooling fish that are widely distributed around the world in both subtropical and warm-temperate continental waters. They appear fairly resilient to fishing, however, due to their popularity as a gamefish and their high catchability, they have been heavily fished. However there is insufficient data to determine current stock levels.

2. How was it caught or farmed?

Elf or shad are caught using traditional linefishing methods. The linefishery uses traditional rod and reel or handlines. Linefishing is a relatively selective fishing method with few impacts on the marine environment and little accidental bycatch.

3. Where is it from?

Elf or shad are caught mainly within the in-shore zone along most of the South African coastline. Management for the sector is considered partly effective. In South Africa this sector is principally managed through a Total allowable effort (TAE) system. There are additional restrictions to protect overfished species such as minimum size (30 m), daily bag limit (4 pp/pd) and a closed season (1 Oct – 30 Nov) 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. Elf/shad are no-sale recreational species in KwaZulu-Natal.