Environmental regulatory awareness of freshwater recreational bank anglers in South Africa
Keywords:awareness, regulating, freshwater bank angling, angling legislation, South Africa
Freshwater recreational angling is growing in popularity internationally. Due to the potential negative environmental impacts, various regulatory systems exist. In South Africa, freshwater recreational angling is regulated through a complex legal framework, consisting of national and provincial legislation dating back to the 1960s. The legislation also relates to historical and current provincial boundaries, adding to the regulatory complexity. Due to this complexity, the question arises whether freshwater recreational bank anglers in South Africa are aware of the regulatory requirements applicable to them. Low levels of awareness could lead to non-compliance, which would suggest an ineffective regulatory system. The aim of this research was thus to determine the environmental regulatory awareness of freshwater recreational bank anglers in South Africa. This was achieved through a literature review of national and provincial legislation, as well as the rules applicable to organised freshwater recreational bank angling. An online survey was completed by 100 members of the South African Freshwater Bank Angling Federation (SAFBAF). The results of the survey indicate that the regulatory awareness of the sample of SAFBAF freshwater recreational anglers is low in certain key areas, such as bag and size limits for specific fish species, catch and release requirements, as well as legal definitions for alien and invasive and TOPS species listings. However, the low level of awareness can be ascribed to the complex regulatory system and not unwillingness of anglers to comply per se. It is recommended that (i) a single consolidated and simplified regulatory system for freshwater recreational bank angling be developed, and (ii) that angling organisational and competition rules be aligned with relevant regulatory requirements, to improve overall awareness and promote higher levels of regulatory compliance.
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Copyright (c) 2022 A Joubert, FP Retief, NJ Smit, RC Alberts, V Wepener, C Roos
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