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Aspects of the ecology and exploitation of the fishes of the Kosi Bay system, KwaZulu, South Africa.

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ln this study the exploitation of the fish fauna of the Kosi estuarine system by man and natural predators is described and estimates made of the off-take and its species composition. The most important human exploitation, that by the traditional Zulu fish traps, was monitored over a four year period and the data collected were used to give an insight into the marine fish populations of the system. All the physical parameters, which it was thought could influence the migrations of fish, were monitored and correlations between these and the daily and monthly fish trap catches were used to interpret fish movements into and out of the system. Reasons for the annual migrations and day to day movements of fish were investigated. In order to establish relative off-takes by local fishermen and sport anglers fish were tagged inside the system and the recovery rates by the various fishing methods were used to calculate estimates of the percentage off-takes of these principal human exploitation methods. These data were also used to obtain estimates of the population sizes of the major marine fish species inside the system. Catch data were used to indicate the levels of estuarine dependence of these species. Where possible comparable data from other areas were used to indicate whether or not similar trends in catch abundance were obvious. The ecological and economic importance of the Kosi system is discussed and its value to the local inhabitants stressed. Competition between the various fishing techniques is described and recommendations are made concerning future fish exploitation. Natural predation rates are also discussed and levels compared with those of other systems. The fish food resources of the systems are considered in the light of recently declining salinities, destruction of swamp forests and increasing numbers of hippopotami. The implications of these changing factors are discussed as is their impact on the Kosi Bay fisheries.


Thesis (Ph.D.)-University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 1986.


Estuarine ecology--Kwazulu-Natal--Kosi Bay., Fishery resources--Kwazulu-Natal--Kosi Bay., Theses--Zoology.