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Hoi All SA Crayfish Divers. Bit of Info

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Waiting for Summer!!!
May 28, 2002

I just read the Article on Crayfish in the Cape Times of 21/10/2003 on page 3.
Our crayfish season has been shortened by 2 1/2 Months!!!!

The season will now start on the 15'th of November and run untill the 1 Feb 2004. Untill the end of December you are allowed to dive every day. But from 1 Jan to 1 Feb you are only allowed to dive over weekends.
Also another thing: You are only allowed to dive for crayfish between 8 AM and 4 PM. So that means no leaving work a bit early and go diving. :naughty

I quotes from the paper: "The shorter recreational fishing season form part of a stock rebuilding strategy to maintain a successfull recovery process."

The Main article is that "ONLY 230 tons are made available for professional Quotas for Hermanus to Gansbaai." This is a stretch of +- 80 KM.

I hoped that it wasn't true but I phoned the Dept Of Sea Fisheries and they told me it was true.
Damn DAMN DAMN. :waterwork

What do you guys think ?

Cheers Reinier
sorry to hear the bad news, but i guess that the reasons behind it are for the benefit of the species. what are the cray numbers like when you dive? are there spans, or are they few and far between. I hope that the same regs dont come up to Natal, because in my opinion, there are still plenty of bugs around.

When the season was open earlier this year there were a lot of crayfish. When I went spearing the other day I saw quite a lot of places where when you look into the cave you just see feelers. Must be like +- 50 crayfish of varying sizes sitting there just looking at you.

At Elands Bay on the West Coast where I went the last weekend of the season there a tons and tons of crayfish. You would go in to about 2 m deep water and then take out your quota of 4 in 1 breath. When I went there I didn't even go through the trouble of putting on my wetsuit. Just go in to about 20m of the shore and come back.

There is a huge reaction to the new season. I read about it in the paper everyday in the letters that gets sent to the paper.

Cheers Reinier
You guys are all right. The bug populations are huge. In fact in some areas they are much bigger than they where 50 years ago. Crayfish are very resiliant to overfishing even considering there slow growth, they have the ability to multiply incredibly. You may not find the sizes you once found but I pretty sure you will find the numbers!

What Irritates me is that the MCM passes these regulations without any research being done. Do they not realize that:

1) Crayfish 50-30 years ago where not found in False Bay. Now any Biologist will tell you that Perlemoen's life cycle is heavily dependent on sea urchins. Which are also crayfishes favourite food. Thus when Crays started pitching up in the penisuala, Urchins decreased and so did abalone. Now I'm not discounting the harmful effects of poaching, but the crayfish in falsebay/CapePoint also have a role to play in the diminishing abalone stocks! Thus the crayfish stocks in that area are way over prime, ie. they are having a negative effect on other species. My point is that I think Crays are overprotected, There are many other fish that are in far more danger of being fished into extinction, yet are not properly protected.

2) The MCM does not really know how much kreef has been caught recreationally. So they make blind estimations and base their restrictions on that. A friend of mine knows somebody who works in this department. The way they work out how much has been caught is to take the amount of licences sold, times by four, times by the amount of slots on the license. Therefore they are assuming that everybody who buys a licence catches their full quota everyday of the season! According to that figure they make disions like: Should we shorten the season?

Conclusion: I don't see the MCM getting tighter with the commercial guys, The MCM dropped their size limit below that of recreational. Their season is much longer and gets longer all the time. They are allowed the use of traps, or whatever means they like.

So when the MCM says that they are doing this in the interest of the kreef stocks, I really dont buy it! I think the true reason behind increased limitations is not to protect the Cray stocks, but to control the supply of kreef thus protecting the demand for kreef increasing the selling price and thus increasing the Commercial Cayfish Industry. Well, thats my theory....
it is common knowledge That MCM know nothing about marine preservation and in there efforts to prove their worth increase commercial quotas whilst punishing the recreationals, who spend a great deal more on their sport than the commercial industry spend making money. Recent surveys have proved that sport fishing (boat) is a bigger industry than rugby and cricket combined. Well we must accept that most people at MCM probably have fake degrees or other dubious qualifications as they have no credibility in any of the recreational circles.

"it is a terrible thing to be governed by fools"
MCM also doesn't have much credibility in Scientific circles in my opinion! Sure there are one or two people that are doing a great job, but from my experience they need to pull themselves together. plus learn their crew basic rules of the sea. I almost got taken out whilst spearfishing once when one of their rubberducks came and did doughnuts around my orange bouy whilst i was holding my breath on the sea floor and then got my floatline entangled in their props. fortunately my mate was on the surface and told them to sod off! the way they are conducting their anti-poaching actions are also questionable and sometimes unfortunately laughable.It seems like the only people that are feeling the consequences of their laws are law abiding citizens while poachers are just getting more free reign. anyway thats just my opinion...watch out for their ducks!
You are right for sure, the poachers have little to fear from these bungling fools, they turn law abiding conservation minded folk into demons of the deep.

May the parasites of a 1000 tuna infest their stomach linings.
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