YWG has been receiving feedback from Dr Aidan Wood who has been asked by SASACC (South African Sport Anglers & Casting Federation) to represent the interests of anglers on matters relating to a commercial fishery at VDK Dam. While not officially representing the YWG he has agreed to voice our views at the stakeholder’s advisory committee which has been set up to discuss and monitor the experimental and small-scale commercial fishery at VDK Dam. Some concern has been expressed by anglers including fly fishers that netting the dam commercially will negatively impact on the dam’s angling potential. Aquatic Scientists and conservationist have, similarly, expressed concerns that this activity might be unsustainable if not properly managed. Unfortunately very little data exists about the population dynamics and conservation status of, especially the largemouth yellowfish Labeobarbus kimberleyensis, to conclusively predict what impact a commercial fishery may have on this species. Here in lies the problem, old and outdated information has been used by the project proposer’s that a commercial operation at VDK is possible. This, and the fact that similar operations in other parts of the country have failed has given reason to the apprehension expressed by both scientists and anglers about the project. Dr Wood has kindly forwarded us three documents which have been posted elsewhere on this website at http://www.fosaf.co.za/ywgDocuments.php. These are:
- The Environmental Fisheries Management Plan for the project.
- The most recent minutes of the forum – March 2015.
- SASACC’s objections to the use of gillnets for this project.
While the YWG is not opposed to the project we will by exerting pressure to ensure that correct measures are put in place to monitor the impact of this project on VDK Dam. You are welcome to share your views and to engage with us via Facebook and email on this matter. We trust these documents will provide more detailed information on this project.