White-edged Rockcod

(Epinephelus albomarginatus)

Captain fine rockcod, White-edged rockcod, white edged rockcod

1. What is it?

White-edged rockcod (Epinephelus albomarginatus) are slow growing, endemic fish able to change sex from female to male making them susceptible to overfishing. They have been subject to high fishing pressure and in 1998 the stock was considered collapsed (spawning stock at only 23% of unexploited levels). No recent stock assessment has been done and the species is listed as Vulnerable on IUCN’s list for threatened species.

2. How was it caught or farmed?

White-edged rockcod are caught using the traditional linefishing methods of rod and reel or handlines operating from small ski-and deckboats. Linefishing is a relatively selective fishing method with few impacts on the marine environment and little accidental bycatch.

3. Where is it from?

White-edged rockcod are found in rocky reefs along the Eastern Cape to Mozambique. 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 (5 pp/pd) and minimum size (40 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.