Fishing Rights and Permits | Western Cape Government

Fishing Rights and Permits

Description:

Fishing PermitsFishing is a favourite past time for many people. Whether you’re planning to go fishing along our 2 000 km of beautiful coastline or in one of our many pristine rivers and dams you’ll need to apply for a recreational fishing permit. 

To ensure that many citizens can enjoy this past time, and to ensure that our marine populations don’t become depleted, it’s important to follow these general regulations:

  • The selling and trading of fish are not permitted.
  • You need to use a rod, reel and line only, and follow the angling regulations when fishing.
  • Your cast net must not be larger than 6 meters in diameter.
  • If you are endorsed for spearfishing, you can catch fish of Class Pisces (that is bony fish, sharks, rays, skates and chimaeras) with a speargun only and,
  • You can fish from a vessel (like a boat) provided that you are endorsed to fish from a vessel.

CapeNature and the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries can assist if you need more information about fishing rights and permits.

For full details of the Marine Living Resources Act (Act No. 18 of 1998) and regulations, contact your local fishery control officer.

Recreational fishing regulations

Recreational fishing includes any fishing that is done for pleasure or sport. The following general regulations apply:

  • You should get a fishing permit from an office authorised by the national Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
  • The selling and trading of fish is not permitted.
  • You need to use a rod, reel and line only, and follow the angling regulations when fishing.
  • Your cast net must not be larger than 6 meters in diameter.
  • If you are endorsed for spear fishing, you can catch fish of Class Pisces (that is bony fish, sharks, rays, skates and chimaeras) with a speargun only and,
  • You can fish from a vessel (like a boat) if you are endorsed to fish from a vessel.

Remember, there are specific regulations for different types of fishing. Learn about these regulations before your next fishing trip.

How to apply for a freshwater fishing permit

There are many dams and rivers in the province where you can enjoy freshwater fishing. At these fishing spots you’re able to catch alien angling fishes like Carp, Largemouth Bass, Rainbow Trout and Mozambique Tilapia, or indigenous angling species like the Clanwilliam Yellowfish and Berg-Breede Whitefish. 

You will find a list of good, accessible angling waters within 150 km of Cape Town, and their most caught species on the CapeNature website

Fishing Permits

If you would like to get a permit to fish in the province’s rivers and dams you’ll have to contact CapeNature. CapeNature is responsible for biodiversity conservation in the Western Cape, they’ll be able to assist you with permits, as well as give you more insight with regards to freshwater fishing.

If you are interested in applying for a permit, here’s what you’ll need to do.

  1. Make the payment for your permit to CapeNature:
    Account name: WCNCB
    Bank: Nedbank
    Account no: 1452048401
    Branch code: 145209
    Reference: HO1HO18
  1. Fax your proof of payment and your application form to the nearest office. Your licence will be issued to you immediately at the CapeNature office. Your original licence will be posted to the address indicated on the form.

Contact the CapeNature offices if you need more assistance:

Find out more information about freshwater fishing permits from CapeNature

How to apply for a marine fishing permit

The South African coastline is rich in biodiversity, with some 10 000 species of marine plants and animals recorded.

The productive waters of the west coast support a variety of commercially exploited marine life, including hake, anchovy, sardine, horse mackerel, tuna, snoek, rock lobster and abalone. The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries is tasked with managing the development and sustainable use of marine and coastal resources.

To apply for a marine fishing permit you’ll need to pay an initial application fee and an additional fee for the issuing of your permit if your application is successful. These permits are valid for 12 months from the date of issue.

For more information and details about the costs to apply for an annual permit, please contact or visit  the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries

Remember, there are specific regulations for different types of fishing like angling, spearfishing, the use of a cast or throw net, fishing from vessel or scuba diving. Learn about these regulations before your next fishing trip. You should get a fishing permit from an office authorised by the national Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries.

Instructions:

a-fishing-boat

For more information please contact:

Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries 

Cape Town
Tel: 021 402 3911


Fisheries Division Client Care:
Call Centre number 0860 00 3474
(0860 003 Fisheries Division of the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries ) permit related.


Contact the CapeNature offices if you need more assistance with Freshwater Fish Permits:

CapeNature head office:

Cape Town
Tel: 021 483 0000

Regional offices

George
Tel: 044 802 5300

Hermanus
Tel: 028 316 3338

Driftsands
Tel: 021 955 5940

Oudtshoorn
Tel: 044 203 6300

Porterville
Tel: 022 931 2900/7

Robertson
Tel: 023 625 1621

Stellenbosch
Tel: 021 866 1560

 

Provided by:
Government Body: (The Government of South Africa)
The content on this page was last updated on 22 October 2020