West coast rock lobster: the 2013/2014 recreational season

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University of Cape Town

The telephone survey of recreational West Coast rock lobster fishers has been carried out since the 1991/1992 season. Currently this is the only survey conducted to monitor the recreational fishers. No telephone survey was conducted during the 2013/2014 season due to budget constraints. During the 2013/14 WCRL recreational season fishers were permitted to catch their bag limit of four lobsters per day during the period 15th November 2013 – 17th November 2013, 14th December 2013 to 31st December 2013 and from the 18th April 2014 to 21st April 2014 (a total of 26 fishing days). This document reports available statistics, and suggests a possible method of extrapolating these statistics to estimate the recreational take for the 2013 season. The recreational take each year depends mainly on two factors: i) the season length i.e. the number of days allocated to recreational fishers ii) the number of actual recreational fishers. The number of recreational fishers can be estimated by assuming these to be linked (either directly or proportionally in some way) to the number of rock lobster permits sold in the season. Table 1 reports the available statistics relating to the recreational sector since 1991. The missing value is the 2013 telephone survey estimate of recreational take.