Monday, December 1, 2014

Annual International Review of South African Fisheries Commences in Cape Town

The Annual International Stock Assessment Review Workshop focussing on Hake and penguins commenced today at the University of Cape Town. The Annual Review Workshop will conclude on Friday 5 December. The Workshop is open to all interested persons. 

Six leading international fisheries scientists arrived in Cape Town this past weekend to conduct an annual review of the analyses used to provide scientific advice for the management of South Africa’s major fisheries. 

Starting on 1 December 2014, the review workshop, which is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the National Research Foundation, takes place at the University of Cape Town and concludes with a presentation by the six-member panel of their findings and recommendations at 15h30 on Friday, 5 December 2014.

The scientists making up the review panel are: 

Alistair Dunn (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, New Zealand);
Jason Link (National Marine Fisheries Service, USA); 
André Punt (University of Washington, USA);
Tony Smith (Panel Chair, Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation, Australia);
Gunnar Stefansson (University of Iceland); and
Robin Waples (National Marine Fisheries Service, USA).

This year’s discussions will focus on hake, which is South Africa’s most important and valuable fishery, upon which thousands of jobs in the Western Cape depend. The group will review research related to the possible sharing of hake populations with Namibia, and the implications that might have for joint decision making for hake resources in the region. 

The other major fishery that will come under consideration is that for sardine and anchovy. Firstly, there is the question of how the management of the sardine resource can be improved, given that it probably consists of a west and a south-coast stock, rather than comprising a single unit as previously supposed. Secondly, there are also associated implications for the recovery of the African penguin population, which has decreased rapidly since the turn of the century, being currently at its lowest recorded abundance, and relies primarily on sardine and anchovy for food. The panel will review results from an initiative involving closures to purse-seine fishing in the vicinity of islands containing penguin breeding colonies, which aims to ascertain whether this assists penguin recovery.

For enquiries regarding attendance, please contact Ms Di Loureiro at 021 650 2340 (until 14h00) or, or Riana Geldenhuys at 021 650 4846, 082 460 5554 or 

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