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“Here are better photos of the Atlantic wreckfish, which was confiscated by DAFF in Doringbaai, Western” Cape earlier this week.
It has been confirmed by DAFF fishery scientists that it is indeed an Atlantic wreckfish and not an Brindle bass as many speculated.
Wreckfish are a protected species in South Africa and are not allowed to be targeted. They are occasionally caught by anglers targeting other deepwater species, but I’ve never heard of one close to this size before.
The carcass weighed 104 kg, measuring 197 cm and should be between 60-80 years old. The fish will be used for genetic testing and ageing. To give us some insights into the life of these elusive deep sea predators.
It shows how little we actually know about life in the deep sea and stresses how important it is to protect the ocean from prospecting oil and sedimentary mining companies.
Currently there is a EIA taking place for an area surrounding the isimangaliso MPA, for prospective oil drilling. This area is home to rare deepwater species including Wreckfish, Coelacanth and many that haven’t been discovered yet.
The proposed Amathole MPA offshore expansion will help protect Wreckfish and various other deepwater species as it’s an area of where they are found in abundance.
We know so little yet it seems like if you have enough money, nature takes the back seat.
Photos – Dr. Denham Parker
Thanks for the community fishermen of Doring Bay and DAFF Fisheries Compliance officers Peter Horn and colleagues for transporting the Wreckfish to Saldanha compliance office and then to Cape Town scientists office.”
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