As a targeted angling species, the use and related conservation initiatives of the Yellowfish in the Vaal River, to facilitate this angling industry, have been poorly characterized and are infrequently considered in the establishment of management actions for this system.
This study aims to characterise the social and economic benefits and implications associated with the use of the Vaal River by yellowfish dependent angling activities and yellowfish related conservation initiatives.

compiled by:

Melissa Brand1, Jennifer Maina2, Myles Mander3 and Gordon O’Brien4*

1 Centre for Aquatic Research, University of Johannesburg, P.O. Box 524, Aucklandpark, 2006 brandm@jgi.co.za
2 Sociology Department, University of Johannesburg, P.O. Box 524, Aucklandpark, 2006
3 Future Works, PO Box 2221, Everton, 3625 
myles@futureworks.co.za
4 Centre for Aquatic Research, University of Johannesburg, P.O. Box 524, Aucklandpark, 2006, 
gordono@uj.ac.za

SUMMARY

This study aims to characterise the social and economic benefits and implications associated with the use of the Vaal River by yellowfish dependent angling activities and yellowfish related conservation initiatives.
The methods used to achieve the aim of the study include the use of valid economic and social assessment methodologies currently used by local and international ecosystem managers. The economic component of the study was carried out by making use of questionnaire based surveys and personal interviews. The social component of the study involved a comprehensive desktop review of the historical findings of studies addressing fish conservation and recreation and their social benefits. In addition the social component of the study was achieved by undertaking a field survey where various stakeholders of the use and or conservation of yellowfish in the Vaal River ecosystem were interviewed.
The study resulted in 91 questionnaires being comprehensively completed by anglers, an additional 23 equipment retail store representatives were interviewed 17 accommodation sector representatives were interviewed, and numerous interviews were carried out with professional guides, conservationists, specialist consultants and academic researchers as well as with various magazine editors, Vaal River ecosystem managers and municipality representatives.

Following the outcomes of this study recommendations are made to establish an integrated use and associated conservation plan for the yellowfish in the Vaal River and assess risk posed to the continued survival of yellowfish individuals by the so called ecologically friendly practice of catch-and-release of yellowfish.

FULL STUDY HERE

http://www.fosaf.co.za/documents/Yellowfish socio-economic study FINAL.pdf