The official Offshore Resources Observer Programme (OROP) undertaken by CapFish under contract to the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) ended on 31 March 2011. Deployments in all sectors including trawl, mid-water trawl, south coast rock lobster and domestic tuna longline have now ended. However CapMarine has now re-tendered for the OROP work and awaits the outcome of the tender submitted in November 2015.
The SADSTIA sponsored observer programme continues to run smoothly, and observer deployments in the offshore hake trawl sector are currently underway. We are however in the process of changing the observer coverage to include the inshore sector. These deployments focus on the collection of detailed biological and seabird interaction information primarily to support the MSC certification of the trawl industry.
In October 2013, SAHLLA signed an agreement with WWF South Africa and CapMarine to undertake a Fisheries Conservation Project (FCP). The agreement is centred upon a workplan to improve the environmental sustainability of the fishery and part of this workplan is to deploy observers on the hake longline vessels
Further we deploy on an ad hoc basis observers in the small pelagic sector as well to verify bycatch and open close specific areas.
The pelagic tuna longline season has started and there are currently 5 observers at sea covering 100% of the effort. This programme is run collaboratively with the Tuna Association and in close collaboration with DAFF and Birdlife SA.