Ten years (1993–2002) of shore fishing catch and effort data collected during routine patrols in the Goukamma Marine Protected Area in the Western Cape Province were analysed. Of a total of 35 species recorded, the most common were backtail, Diplodus sargus capensis (39%), and galjoen, Dichistius capensis (25%). These species dominated most years of the study period. Mean overall annual catch per unit effort by number and weight remained relatively constant over the period. Up to 30% of the recorded catches of top species were smaller than the minimum legal size limits. Although catches of most of the top species contained <7% immature specimens, 98% of recorded dusky kob, Argyrosomus japonicus, and 87% of white steenbras, Lithognathus lithognathus, were immature. Blacktail and galjoen showed a significant (P < 0.05) decrease in mean annual weight over the period. Inherent sampling biases associated with compliance-orientated fisheries monitoring procedures limited the potential of the collected data.
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Vol. 41 • No. 2