Illustration, Minimum size, Bag limits and Collection method Bait and Shellfish Harvesting Bait and shellfish harvesting are usually collected by small scale and recreational fishers to fish and to eat. These collection is done by hand or by using a implement subscribed by the regulations. This method is used to collect fixed or slow moving species such as alikreukel, octopus, limpets, chitons, urchins, oysters, red bait and mussels. This method has very little habitat damage implications and no bycatch, therefore harvesting a species with this method at a sustainable rate has very little to no implication on the environment. No person may engage in collecting certain classes of shellfish between sunset on one day and sunrise on the following day. See recreational brochure. Remember when you collect bait or shellfish you need to obtain a permit and stay with the bag and size limit of the regulations listed in the recreational brochure issued by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Oysters Harvesting Oysters are one of the most harvested shellfish along the Southern Cape and KZN coast line. The Cape rock oyster, occurs low on the shore and are harvested for commercial and recreational prepossess. Collectors may collect oysters only from the intertidal zone and must leave the deep sub-tidal oysters to breed and replenish the intertidal zone stocks. Recreational fishers only allowed to collect 25 oysters per day. Cape rock oyster Collection may only be done by hand or with an implement with a blade or a flat edge not exceeding 40 mm and not shorter than 1 m in length . Natal rock oyster Pearl oyster Four species of rock mussels are found along the South African coast - the black, Mediterranean and ribbed mussels along the south-west coasts and the brown mussel on the south-east coasts. Only 30 rock mussels of any species may be collected per day. Mussel Harvesting White or sand mussels are found on the sandy beaches along the coast. They bury themselves up to 20 cm under the sand and can only be collected at low tide. 50 white mussels and not smaller than 35 mm in diameter, may be collected per day. White / sand Mussel Collection may only be done by hand or with an implement with a blade or flat edge not exceeding 12 mm in width. Black Mussel Brown Mussel Mediterranean Mussel What is Redbait Redbait is an animal with a hard, dark brown outer shell with a bright red body. Redbait have two funnel-shaped openings known as siphon pipes and feed on plankton and therefore are filter feeders.. They sit very close to each other on rocks and on the sea bed. Redbait is very good to catch many kinds of fish, but it is well known among fishermen to catch Galjoen. Only 2 kg of unshelled bait may be collected per day. The base of the outer shell must be left behind on the rocks. Collection may only be done by hand or with an implement with a blade or flat edge not exceeding 12 mm in width. Chitons- Armadillo Chitons are slow-moving molluscs that can cling tightly to rocks. The shell has eight distinct segments held together with supple muscles and a fleshy belt around the shell. When its removed from a rock, it roll up into a tight ball to protect the body inside. They are in high demand as food in the rural Eastern Cape and as bait for recreational anglers for catching fish. Only 6 chitons may be collected per day and only by hand. Limpets Argenville’s limpet Pear limpet Many different species of limpets occur along the South African Coast. Most limpets have fairly flat shells adapted to live in the intertidal zone where there is strong wave action. The larges concentration of limpets species in the world occurs along the South African coast. Granite limpet Long-spined limpet The pear and long-spined limpets are the best known along the Southern Cape coast. Limpets are harvested as food by recreational anglers and as bait to catch rock lobsters by small scale fishers. Only 15 limpets of any species may be collected per day. Only 10 seaworm, including poluchaete, wonder shingle, moondhine, coral, pot, pudding, rock, tape & flatworms may be collected per day by Poluchaete worm hand. Collection may only be done by hand or with an implement with a blade or flat edge not exceeding 12 mm in width. Turban Shells Alikreukels and periwinkles are snails with a low spiraled shell and a round shell opening. Periwinkels are abundant in the intertidal zone. The Alikreukel or giant periwinkle has a characteristic knobbed calcified door, called a operculum that block the opening when it withdraws in to the shell. Alikreukels are becoming scarce due to overharvesting. Alikreukel Periwinkles or topshells have a horny, flexible operculum. Only 5 Alikreukels may be collected by hand per day and not smaller then 63.5mm in diameter. For the smaller periwinkle only 50 may be collected by hand per day. Periwinkles / topshell Porcupines of the sea Pencil urchin Cape urchin Many exotic and unusual species of sea urchins occur along the warm subtropical waters of the KZN coast. Like the Pencil urchin with its long thick pencil like spines are collected and sold as ornaments and chimes. Pansy shells are flat urchins with short spines and a characteristic petal-like pattern. Pansy shell The Cape urchin is abundant on rocky shores around the whole South African coast. Pumpkin shell Urchins are collected mostly for their shells and their gonads (eggs), eaten as a delicacy. Only 20 urchins may be collected per day by hand, excluding live pansy shells. Sea cucumbers Spiny starfish Urchins are members of the phylum Enchinodermara which includes starfish and sea cucumbers. These animals are five-rayed symmetrical and have spines or specula in their skin. 20 cucumbers ma be collected per day Harvesting of Rock Lobsters The recreational season to harvest East and West Coast rock lobsters will be announce by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries during November of each year. Lobsters in berry may not be caught and all lobsters harvested or transported must be in a whole state. Only 4 West Coast and 8 East Coast rock lobsters may be collected per day for own use. The minimum size is 80mm measured from the centre of the posterior edge of the carapace to the tip of the middle anterior spine for WCRL and 65mm for ECRL. A lobster take 7 years to grow the legal size for collection. Why Abalone Become so Scarce? Abalone/perlemoen Rock lobsters have moved and increased in the main area where abalone live. Rock lobsters eat the urchins and the baby abalone have nowhere to hid and are eaten by predators. urchin Abalone being overfished by poachers and even collect the undersize juveniles. To many abalone are harvested at one area and those that are left are too far apart to reproduce. Siffie /Venus ear Abalone take between 8-10 years to reach the legal size off 110 mm in diameter for harvesting by the commercial industry. Rock lobsters The recreational abalone season has been close until further notice and it also apply to the Siffie or Venus ear species. For more information, consult the latest recreational brochure. Crabs & hermit crabs A variety of species of crabs occur along the South African Coast. Most crabs are collected as bait by recreational fishers to fish with. Only 15 may be collected per day by hand. Large Red Crab Ghost Crab Hermit Crab Cape Rock Crab Natal Rock Crab Shore Crab The Wizard of the Sea Cuttlefish The octopus belongs to the group known as cephalopods (meaning head-footed), which includes squid and cuttlefish. Octopus has eight arms whereby squid and cuttlefish have two extra long arms to catch their pray. Octopus hides in crevices among rocky shores and reify areas along the South African coast line. Octopus is high in demand as bait and as food by recreational fishers and sometimes collected more than the allowed bag limit. Squid Octopus Cuttlefish are common in open estuaries and sheltered lagoons, fortunately their demand is low and sometimes smaller species are used as bait by fishers. Squid are caught as bait from recreational ski-boats and only 20 are allowed to be collected per day by hand or line. Only 2 octopus and cuttlefish may be collected per day by hand or line and gaff. An octopus has no shell and can go through any opening the same size as its beak when it try to escape from predators. Bait Collecting in Estuaries Sand prawn Mud prawn Sand prawns, also known as pink prawn or cracker shrimp are abundant on sand flats of close estuaries and dig burrows to at least 1 meter deep. Mud prawns are green-brown in colour and live in Ushaped burrows on the mud flats which are easily visible during low tide. Clam Prawns are collected as bait by recreational fishers and at some areas illegally sold to tourist. Pencil bait Mud crab Blood worm Bloodworms are endemic to South Africa and occur in U-shaped burrows on sandy areas in open estuaries. Pencil bait or razor clams are elongated, almost cylinder shaped and occur in sandy regions near the mouth of a estuary. Only 50 prawns, 20 pencil bait and 8 clams may be collected per day by hand and a suction pump or inverted tin. Only 5 bloodworms may be collected per day by hand and a suction pump or wire. The mud crab, also known as the Knysna crab is one of the largest swimming crabs that occur along the South Africa estuaries. Only 6 crabs may be collected per day which the carapace measured at 140mm across.