Fishing Rights and Permits
Many people enjoy fishing as a pastime. Fishing provides many benefits like stress relief and gives us a chance to reconnect with nature. It gives us a chance to visit places we wouldn’t normally visit and allows us to bond with friends and family.
The Western Cape has many rivers, dams, and a vast coastline where you’ll be able to enjoy this pastime. However, before you begin planning your fishing trip, it’s important to remember that you’ll need a fishing permit or license to partake in this activity.
Freshwater fishing licenses and marine fishing licenses are managed by separate entities. If you’re interested in freshwater (fishing along rivers and dams), you’ll have to contact CapeNature. The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment manages marine fishing (fishing along the coast) permits.
Marine fishing licenses
Annual and temporary permits can be purchased from the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment.
Costs vary depending on the type of fishing permit you'd like to purchase.
Marine fishing licenses can also be applied for and purchased from any Post Office in the province.
It’s important to remember that there are specific regulations for different types of fishing. For example:
Before you go fishing make sure which fish can or can’t be caught. Keep a copy of the South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI) guide with you. This guide indicates which species are green, orange or red according to their vulnerability.
Freshwater fishing licenses
Freshwater fishing licenses can be obtained from CapeNature, who is responsible for biodiversity conservation in the Western Cape, and are valid for 12 months from the date of issue. To apply for one, you can contact the head office at 087 087 9262 or one of the CapeNature regional offices.
You don't need a license to fish in a privately owned dam, but make sure to get permission from the owner beforehand.
Where can you fish?
The Western Cape offers a wide variety of locations to fisherman looking for a catch. Within 150 km of Cape Town you’ll be able to find the following freshwater fishing locations:
Marine protected areas
Marine protected areas (MPA) are protected sections of seas, oceans, estuaries or large lakes. These marine areas can range from wildlife refuges to research facilities. MPAs restrict human activity for conservation purposes, typically to protect natural or cultural resources.
There are 13 MPAs in the Western Cape including (bold indicates MPAs managed by CapeNature):
Each MPA is demarcated into either a controlled or a restricted zone:
For more information please contact:
Contact the CapeNature if you need more assistance with Freshwater Fish Permits:
|Government Body:||(The Government of South Africa)|