|Spatial description of hake-directed fishing activity off the west coast of South Africa|
|Fairweather, T.; Booth, A.J.; Sauer, W.H.H.; Leslie, R.W. (2006). Spatial description of hake-directed fishing activity off the west coast of South Africa. Afr. J. Mar. Sci. 28(1): 13-24|
|In: African Journal of Marine Science. NISC: Grahamstown. ISSN 1814-232X , more|
Historically, the two species of Cape hakes Merluccius capensis and M. paradoxus off South Africa were commercially exploited exclusively by demersal trawling. In 1994, hake-directed demersal longline was introduced on an experimental basis, and in 1998 was initiated as a commercial fishing sector. The effect of a combined fleet composed of both trawlers and longliners on the Cape hake resource is not fully understood. Analysis of fishing intensity and catch-rate data revealed that the highest catch rates were found around the 400m and 500m isobaths for the trawl and longline fisheries respectively. Catch rates from both fishing sectors were also noted to be higher over sediments with a sand component. Differences between areas of the highest fishing intensity and highest catch rates were noted. In addition to other factors, it is suggested that a ‘friction of distance' effect applies — vessels will trade-off higher catch rates with the increased costs associated with fishing in deeper waters.