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The South African Sea-Fisheries1

Nature volume 96, page 653 (10 February 1916) | Download Citation



THIS report is of considerable general interest, since it contains an account of the development of the sea-fisheries in South African waters and a discussion of the factors, real and problematical, affecting the general productivity of the fisheries. Trawl-fishing by means of modern vessels began early in the 'nineties of last century, but for one reason or another most of these early enterprises were not successful. In 1895 the Cape Government took the matter up, and arranged to carry out a general biological survey. A steam vessel, the Pieter Faure, was designed and built specially for this work, and various new trawling grounds were discovered and investigated. As a result of this preliminary survey various private fishing companies began operations, some of which were unsuccessful. At present there are about eight steam-trawlers regularly engaged in fishing in South African waters, and an industry, limited in its scope, has apparently been well established. Such statistics as are available show a general rise in the productivity of the fishery, or at least, that it is being maintained; it is difficult to be certain as to the trend of the figures.

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