Angelfish

(Brama brama)

Atlantic pomfret, Angel, Engelvis, Brama brama

1. What is it?

Angelfish (Brama brama) are slow-growing, highly mobile fish found across the world in temperate waters. This species is not targeted directly by fisheries but is caught as bycatch in the hake trawl fishery. Stock appears to be in a good condition and fishing rate is not putting the stock at any risk.

2. How was it caught or farmed?

Angelfish are caught using trawl nets that are dragged along the seabed at depths typically ranging from 110m to 800 m (known as “demersal trawl nets”). This type of trawling is known to damage the seabed; however, the extent and long-term impact of the damage remains unknown. Trawling is also not a very selective fishing method and a number of other species are often caught in the nets (fish, sharks and rays). Substantial effort has been made to reduce seabird interactions through the use of tori lines. Efforts are also underway to better manage and understand the impacts on key bycatch and sensitive marine species.

3.Where is it from?

Angelfish are caught as bycatch along the continental shelf edge and upper slope along the West Coast from the Namibian border southwards and on the South Coast primarily around the Agulhas Bank. There are some ecosystem-based management measures in place such as measures to limit mortalities of seabirds, precautionary catch limits on certain species, limit targeting of other by-catch species and various spatial restrictions (i.e. fishing within the historical trawl “footprint”, no fishing in MPAs, the seasonal closure to protect spawning kingklip aggregations, and depth/distance from the coast restrictions). Management is largely effective and mainly focused on the target species (hake) in the form of Total Allowable Catch (TAC) and permit limitations.