Black Musselcracker

(Cymatoceps nasutus)

Poenskop, Black steenbras, Poensie, Swart steenbras, John cracker, black mussel cracker

1. What is it?

Black musselcrackers (Cymatoceps nasutus) are endemic, slow growing, long-lived fish making them extremely vulnerable to fishing pressure. There is little data available and no stock assessment has been done so stocks are considered data deficient. Black musselcrackers are listed on IUCN’s list of threatened species as Vulnerable.

2. How was it caught or farmed?

Black musselcrackers are caught using traditional linefishing methods. Linefishery uses rod and reel or handlines. It is a relatively selective fishing method with few impacts on the marine environment and little accidental bycatch.

3. Where is it from?

Black musselcrackers are found along the South African coast from Western Cape to KwaZulu-Natal. Management for the sector is considered partly effective. The sector is principally managed through a total allowable effort (TAE) limitation and there are additional restrictions for fishing black musselcracker such as bag limits (1 pp/pd) and minimum size limits (50 cm). There is some concern over the impact of the small-scale fishery rights allocation beyond the recommended TAE and the continuously growing recreational sector.