(Argyrozona argyrozona)

Kapenaar, Doppies, Doppie, Silverfish, Silvervis, Silver

WWF-SA recognition of the ET Project as an FCP is temporarily on hold until there is agreement between rights holders in the sector on the continued implementation of the ET Project.

1. What is it?

Carpenter (Argyrozona argyrozona) are slow growing, long lived, migratory, schooling fish associated with rocky reefs and bottoms making them susceptible to overfishing. They are endemic, migratory, schooling species associated with rocky reefs and bottoms. A stock assessment was completed in 2013 for the South and South East region of South Africa which indicated a substantial recovery in stock levels (40% of pristine stock levels) to a point where they are now optimally exploited.

2. How was it caught or farmed?

Inshore demersal trawl

Carpenter are caught as bycatch in inshore demersal trawl fishery for hake (MSC certified) and sole using trawl nets. The fishery gear consists of trawl nets that are dragged along the seabed at depths in the area from the coast to the 110 m isobath or to 20 nautical miles from the coast, whichever is the greater distance. Demersal trawling is known to damage the seabed; the extent and impact of this damage remains unknown. Trawling is not a 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 deaths through the use of tori lines and research is underway to better manage the principal bycatch stocks through a co-management pilot programme.


Carpenter are caught frequently in the linefish sector. Linefishery operates from small ski- and deck boats using a rod and reel or handline making it a popular target for recreational linefishers as well. Linefishing is a relatively selective fishing method with few impacts on the marine environment and very little bycatch.

3. Where is it from?

Inshore demersal trawl

Carpenter are caught between Cape Agulhas and the Great Kei River at depth shallower that 110 m. Management is considered to be largely effective. Management is mainly directed at the target species hake (MSC certified) and sole in the form of Total Allowable Catch (TAC) and permit limitations. There is a fishery conservation project (FCP) presently underway seeking to test a co-management approach that would bring under management 10 non-target species in the sector. Additional ecological concerns are little information on impacts to sensitive shark, skates and ray populations as well as impacts to the seabed. Efforts are underway to improve the scientific observer coverage at sea for this sector to better understand ecosystem impacts.


Carpenter 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) limitation and there are additional restrictions to protect overfished species such as bag (4pp/pd) and minimum size (35cm) 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.