The Namibian rock lobster fishery (Jasus lalandii)
The fishery: This is a similar fishery to the West Coast rock lobster fishery. There are approximately 15 quota-holders. The fishing fleet operates from various wooden vessels less than 25m in length each carrying a maximum of 100 standard rectangular traps (similar to those used in South Africa), which they usually set and haul at depths of between 10 and 40m, but occasionally as deep as 70 m. Control is presently achieved by a total allowable catch (TAC = 420 tons whole weight for the 2003/2004 fishing season), individual quotas (see previous section), a limited fishing season, area limitations, effort restrictions and a minimum carapace size of 65mm.
Management issues and OLRAC's involvement: OLRAC has been involved in the management of this resource at a review level. The main piece of work to date has been an assessment of the research programme for the management of the resource. OLRAC's recommendations have covered:
- The advisability of the 65 mm minimum size
- Trap design with emphasis on the implications for the amount of discards
- Zonation of the TAC, closed seasons and effort control
- Calculation of a resource abundance index from commercial catch statistics
- Datasheets and logbooks for capturing essential catch statistics
- The creation of databases for research purposes
- The value of diving surveys, initiation of a tagging programme and estimation of the female biomass
- Use of quantitative methods in stock assessment.