Fishing Rights and Permits in South Africa

If you want to go fishing in South Africa, you will need to make sure that you follow all the relevant rules and regulations. These have been put in place to protect marine life. All fishing-related activities are regulated by the Marine Living Resources Act and since the law was put in place 20 years ago. Even if you are just fishing for one day while you are on holiday, you will still have to have the right documentation.

Those who want to take part in recreational fishing will need to visit the nearest office that is authorized by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries to obtain a fishing permit. Recreational fishermen are not allowed to sell or trade the fish that they catch. Remember that you are only permitted to use a rod, reel and line and that any cast net is not permitted to be more than six metres in diameter.

There are different types of fishing and different permits associated with them. Some permit you to go spear-fishing but they are only allowed to catch certain types of fish including sharks, rays, and skates, using only a speargun. If you want to do any type of fishing from a boat, you will need to have a permit that allows you to do this. Different fees apply to different permits and unless the relevant fee is paid, you will not be allowed to do any fishing.

Those who want to try commercial fishing will be able to obtain a permit only if they are full-time line fishermen and for whom this is their main source of income. You will also have to have received commercial fishing rights. The Government Gazette posts details of the process for applying for the rights and it is important that these are followed properly.

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