Squaretail Kob

(Argyromus thorpei)

Stompstert-kob, Stompstert kob, Half kob

1. What is it?

Squaretail kob (Argyromus thorpei) are non-migratory shoaling fish found in shallow soft bottoms (juveniles) and rocky reefs (adults) making them easy to catch by commercial and recreational linefishers. Stock levels are viewed as collapsed and therefore currently rated as overfished.

2. How was it caught or farmed?

Squaretail kob are mainly caught using linefishing methods. Traditional linefishery operates from small ski- and deck boats using a rod and reel or handline making them a popular target for recreational linefishers. Linefishing is a relatively selective fishing method with few impacts on the marine environment and little accidental bycatch.

3. Where is it from?

Squaretail kob are found mostly along the KwaZulu-Natal coastline and occasionally captured as bycatch on the Thukela Banks by the shallow water prawn trawls. 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 a bag limit for both sectors (5 pp/pd – for anglers west of Cape Agulhas and 1 pp/pd – for anglers east of Cape Agulhas) and a minimum size limit (> 40 cm) 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.