The status of the riverbream, Acanthopagrus berda (sparidae), in estuarine systems of northern Kwazulu natal, south Africa
James, N., Beckley, L.E. and Mann, B.Q. (2002) The status of the riverbream, Acanthopagrus berda (sparidae), in estuarine systems of northern Kwazulu natal, south Africa. In: Southern African Marine Science Symposium SAMSS 2002 Currents Coasts Communities, 1 - 5 July, Swakopmund, Namibia.
The objective or this study was to assess the status of Acanthopagrns berda, an estuarine dependent sparid, in estuarine systems of northern KwaZulu-Natal. The importance of A. berda, to fisheries in Kosi Bay, St Lucia and Richards Bay was evaluated and A. berda was found to be one of the five most important species taken in both the gill net and recreational fisheries at Kosi Bay and St Lucia. It was less important in Richards Bay. Catch per unit effort for A. berda showed a disturbing downward trend in the Kosi recreational fishery. Ages of A. berda specimens caught in northern KwaZulu-Natal estuaries were determined by examining whole otoliths. The parameters of the von Bertalanffy growth curve indicated that A. berda in northern KwaZulu-Natal is slow growing, attaining at least 16 years of age. A stock assessment completed for the species showed that A. berda is at 47% to 55% of its unfished level. Although these results may indicate that A. berda in northern KwaZulu-Natal is not at present overexploited, longevity coupled with late maturation, sex change, estuarine dependency, increasing catches of A. berda and poor monitoring give cause for concern for the continued sustainable use of this species in northern KwaZulu-Natal.
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