FOSAF NEWS - Comments on the small scale commercial fishery at Vanderkloof Dam.

Many fly fishers will be aware that there are plans to commercially harvest fish from the Vanderkloof Dam (VDK) and this will include gill netting.

 There is major support for this project from a number of quarters including the Department of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries as a project that will create both jobs and food security, especially for the poor that live in the region. There can be no doubt that any such initiative should be supported if carried out correctly and in accordance with due process.  However, there is great resistance to this idea from anglers and, to a certain extent the scientific community because it is believed that because the research into the project is poor the project will be unsustainable.  At the moment the YWG’s position is as follows:

  • That due process must be followed by the project proposers and that there is thorough public consultation.
  • That more information is needed on the current status of the yellowfish in the dam, especially largemouth.  Factual information is required as to whether the dam is in fact a largemouth stronghold and if there is enough fish to support a small fishery is required.
  • That the YWG need to engage with all role players so that we can be on the same page.

A presentation was made at a public meeting at VDK on 12/12/2014 by Mr Q.Rouhani of Rhodes University on behalf of the Northern Cape government. Although we do not have permission to publish this presentation we do have permission to include the response by Dr Aidan Wood of SACRAA which may be accessed at http://www.fosaf.co.za/ywgDocuments.php. The YWG will be canvassing the views of its members shortly via a newsletter so as to formulate its own response.

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