Original Research

Aerial surveys conducted along the Garden Route coastline, South Africa, to determine patterns in shore fishing effort

M. Kyle S. Smith, Nerina Kruger, Taryn S. Murray
Koedoe | Vol 57, No 1 | a1236 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v57i1.1236 | © 2015 M. Kyle S. Smith, Nerina Kruger, Taryn S. Murray | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 July 2014 | Published: 01 July 2015

About the author(s)

M. Kyle S. Smith, Rondevlei Scientific Services, South African National Parks, South Africa
Nerina Kruger, Rondevlei Scientific Services, South African National Parks, South Africa
Taryn S. Murray, South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, Grahamstown, South Africa; Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science, Rhodes University, South Africa, South Africa


Coastal environments provide a wide range of leisure opportunities, including recreational fishing. Understanding spatial and temporal fishing patterns is important in ensuring wise management and sustainable use. To provide information on shore angler effort and distribution, randomised aerial surveys of the Garden Route coast between the eastern border of the Tsitsikamma Marine Protected Area and the Kaaimans River mouth in the west were undertaken between December 2008 and November 2009. A total of 15 flights were conducted, with six flights taking place over weekends, two on public holidays and the balance on normal week days. Angler effort was not uniformly distributed along the coastline, and spatial analysis highlighted coastal areas both inside and outside marine protected areas that had increased angler effort. In general, fishing effort was highest around more densely populated areas and concentrated in areas with easy access. Although angler counts were highly variable, the seasonality of shore angling effort showed a slight increase during autumn and winter and angling effort was significantly higher on weekends.

Conservation implications: Data obtained during these surveys can assist management with future conservation planning exercises, whilst also guiding daily law enforcement patrols to maximise angler encounters.


Recreational fishing; Marine Protected Area; Aerial survey


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