First survey of fishes in the Betty's Bay Marine Protected Area along South Africa's temperate south-west coast

  • Published source details Roberson L., Winker H., Attwood C., De V.L., Sanguinetti C. & Götz A. (2015) First survey of fishes in the Betty's Bay Marine Protected Area along South Africa's temperate south-west coast. African Journal of Marine Science, 37, 543-556.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Cease or prohibit all commercial fishing

Action Link
Marine Fish Conservation
  1. Cease or prohibit all commercial fishing

    A site comparison study of an area of reef, sand and kelp in the South Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of South Africa (Roberson et al. 2015) found that prohibiting commercial fishing in a marine protected area for 40 years increased the abundance of one of four commercially targeted fish species compared to unprotected fished areas outside, but did not increase overall fish diversity or change species composition. Average abundance was higher inside the non-commercially fished area than outside for hottentot Pachymetopon blochii (inside: 5.0, outside: 2.6 max. number) and was similar between areas for roman seabream Chrysoblephus laticeps (1.3 vs 0.9 max. number), panga seabream Pterogymnus laniarus (6.7 vs 4.3 max. number) and carpenter seabream Argyrozona argyrozona (1.6 vs 1.1 max. number). Numbers of species, diversity (Shannon-Wiener values) and overall fish species composition were similar inside (no. species: 34, Shannon-Wiener: 1.73) and outside (no. species: 39, Shannon-Wiener: 1.43) the non-commercially fished area. Fish were surveyed inside and outside the Betty’s Bay Marine Protected Area (20 km2, commercial fishing prohibited but recreational fishing allowed since 1973). Four steel baited remote underwater video cameras were simultaneously deployed for one hour at 30 stations within and 28 stations in adjacent areas outside the protected area. For each video camera, all fish species and the maximum number of any species in a single frame 35 cm off the seabed and centred on a bait canister 1 m away were recorded. The earliest the survey took place was in 2012 but no details of sampling times were provided.

    (Summarised by: Leo Clarke)

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