***Will they kill them all... Canthigaster Amboinensis?***

Discussion in 'Diving, Collecting and Environmental Discussions' started by sriddick, 19 Sep 2010.

  1. sriddick

    sriddick

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    Hi Guys,

    Firstly, apologies for being so scarce. I have not been around for a while, as I have been overseas to the UK and China, but I have been following everyone’s progress and systems.

    Listen, I have a really odd thing to raise here. I just feel that I need to do something about the savagery that is going on down the natal coast line. I have lived in Amanzimtoti / Durban for the last 11 years, and when I first moved here, I would walk along the rocks and watch all the fishermen. On many occasion, I would take buckets full of these little spotted toby fish from the rock pools and release them back into the ocean. These fishermen seem to feel that the Toby’s are a vermin and need to be killed. On more than one occasion, I witnessed guys reeling these little guys in, and then instead of taking it off the hook and just releasing it back into the ocean, they would literally just swing the rod around and smash the fish against the rocks to get it off the hook.

    Others would take them off the hook, and found pleasure in throwing them as hard as they can against the rock in order to hear the sound it makes when the puffer explodes. The large majority would just throw them in the infested and stench ridden rock pools to die a slow death in the hot natal sun. I have not seen many of these fish around for years, but strangely enough, their numbers seem to have increased again, and I have been noticing them around on the beaches. I went for a walk along the Amanzimtoti main beach yesterday, and took a walk on to the rocks, as I noticed a guy landing quite a nice size fish. When I got onto the rocks, my heart sank. Toby’s lay everywhere. All the rock pools were overflowing, and they had just been thrown around on the rocks. I counted more than 20 in one small rock pool, and could see the vast majority were already dying.

    When confronting one of the "fellows" on the rocks as to why they don’t just release them back into the ocean, they merely say that these fish are pests and eat there bait. Things have got heated on more than one occasion to the point that a full on physical brawl has almost ensued.

    Whilst this fish may seem insignificant to some, I for one have a problem with the inhumane way that these “locals” treat them. My son is 3 now, and I fear that if something is not done, by the time he reaches my age, you probably will not see them anymore.
    I am considering putting together an article for the local newspapers to highlight the wrongdoings of these barbarians who call themselves civilized, but more importantly, to try and put some constructive and educational information together to try and educate these guys about the species, and the importance it plays on our coast line. From what I have found online, I believe I have an ID of Canthigaster Amboinensis? Maybe some of the local and more knowledgeable guys could help me out with that one?

    For this reason, I ask, if any of you could assist with some facts and other information, I would greatly appreciate it. Sadly, I am off to the beach now with a bucket and a net to go try and catch a few more and release them back into the sea.

    Regards,
    Sheldon.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 19 Sep 2010
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  3. Neil H

    Neil H Moderator MASA Contributor

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    WELCOME TO MASA

    One perception is that these fish are poisionous even to touch, i am no expert in tobies .... but as much as an article lambasting fishermen would make one feel like something is being done, the reality is that education is best ...... educate them on HOW to handle the fish and what job the fish does that is essential to the survival of the species they are targeting and you will stop this carnage
     
  4. finch

    finch

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    i feel for you, it breaks my heart when i see beaches littered with bait packet and nylon.
    and other things that people dump. i get angry when i walk along beaches and witness how they are raped bare by people (even marine aquarists) of their natural resources.

    culling and or removal of any species of fish, no matter how insignificant or unattractive it may seem, has a negative impact on the ecosystem.

    did you hear in the news (think yesterday) about shark killings. they are on top of the ocean food chain. when they are all gone theres gonna be trouble.

    I'm all for keeping reefs and fish, but i want to approach it in a conservational way. i want to stock only captive bred fish and fragged coral. i know the notion seems a bit romantic and ambitious but id have it no other way.
     
  5. Neil H

    Neil H Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Completely agree with you, and we need more people to support sustainable reefing concepts
     
  6. gaboon

    gaboon

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    An article for the local newspaper is a good idea, these guys read the same newspapers and would probably soon stop for fear of being banned from fishing there (weather that would ever happen, I dont know.
     
  7. sriddick

    sriddick Thread Starter

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    Well, just got back from the beach.

    We caught and returned about 28 Tobies from the rock pool at Amanzimtoti main beach alone. Among them were about 15 casualties.
    One special find was a juvenile Rockod of about 20cm. Such a beauty!
    All were returned back to the ocean. Some of them seemed to struggle at first, but eventually as the ocean water flew over their gills and they realized their freedom they were gone.

    Whilst this may seem like an insignificant waste of time to some "looking at the big picture" I’m sure there are hundreds of these fish that die along the rock pools of our coast every day. I am hoping that my efforts will raise an awareness of this problem. Not only regarding the Toby’s, but the countless other juvenile fish that are left to die.

    As said before, if anyone had some literature on these fish in a book, or some other interesting facts, and specifically data on topics surrounding the sustainability of these and other Natal species.

    I think it could make for an awesome article. As a suggestion, we could write the article as a group, have the moderators of the forum approve it, and then create some awareness of MASA at the same time?
    It’s worth a try anyway.

    Have a good Sunday everyone. Don’t spend too much time doing water changes!!

    Regards,
    Sheldon.
     
  8. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Sadly this is the reality Sheldon. I also do a lot of fishing targeting mainly Sharks and Rays. I have witnessed on many occasions not only with the little guys like Tobies but also with sharks and rays,were the guys just cut of the spine from the tail of the ray or kill the shark and then release it.
    My take on this is, it is a lack of education on the hobby/sport.
    Good on you releasing all those fish dude. :)
     
  9. magman

    magman

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    Sheldon, these fish are probably one of the most commen fish around, when I take the kids to catch with hook, if the tobies are there, you will only catch them, there is no other chance for other fish to bite. When they not there in full, every second fish the kids catch will be one of the tobies. Too be honest, I think there is a million other species you should be more concerned about, but still the fisherman leaving them on the rocks is disgusting.

    That's the impression I was under they posinous, I have exyma on my hands sometime, and only unhook them with a cloth..........

    True Meks, especially here on the piers with spinners, the fisherman just leave them on the pier as they see them as pests. I was always bought up, any fish you catch and kill, you chow.
     
  10. lindsay pollard

    lindsay pollard pipefish

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    howzit guys
    i grew up on the natal coast warner beach and lived there for 32 years and since i can remember Tobies were always a so called pest for fisherman.I for one can remember as a youngster bouncing tobies on the rocks,just because everyone did it and it seemed a cool thing to do.WRONG WRONG WRONG.As for them being poisonous i think it is only for consumption,i handled tobies with my bare hands and never ever had a problem.Sriddick get the local papers involved and EDUCATE those nieve fisherman before its to late.Every living creature has a spesific function on earth,and a toby has its place in the eco system of the ocean.I wish you all the best and PLEASE dont give up,you are doing a good thing.
     
  11. hammers

    hammers

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    I Hate seeing that happen too. Even when the fishermen leave their catch that they want to keep to eat, in a puddle of water to suffocate to death. They should put them out quickly so they dont have to suffer.
     
  12. chikaboo

    chikaboo

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    Hi there ... Are these what they call "evil eye bla......"something" ... I rescued a few on my last trip to the beach and popped them in a bucket to bring home and even got cursed by some fisherman .... but they such cool dudes .... never troubling any livestock - coral or fish!I've also handled them with bare hands with no effects so I'm also thinking if you eat them then .... be afraid of poisons! Good on you bud to try and educate them fisherman .... BTW - what about them parks board rangers that make pests of themselves when we collecting specimens to try and enforce some fines for this ghastly behaviour .... Or even if it's printed on the permits and ask the post office personel to inform the fisherman when purchasing permits ....
     
  13. Pistolshrimp

    Pistolshrimp

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    Dude this is one of the main reasons i dont like going to toti beach and iv abandoned fishing there, finally someone else has noticed, tobies, undersize blacktails, pinkies, ive seen all die in the pools, is it so hard to just toss it back in the ocean? And i also almost got into fights on the rocks for the same reason,
     
  14. Steve Warren

    Steve Warren

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    Evil Eyed Blaasops/toby; They are poisoness to eat and you should wash your hands aftyer handling them, they do not deserve the abuse they get from uneducated anglers who unfortunately give the anglers with the right ethics a bad name indirectly by their actions.
     
  15. Steve Warren

    Steve Warren

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    I was always bought up, any fish you catch and kill, you chow.[/QUOTE]

    If that was enforced there would be no anglers casually and cruelly disposing of the blaasops they catch, because they would be dead. Maybe not a bad idea.
     
  16. sriddick

    sriddick Thread Starter

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    I am glad to see that there are people out there that share the same passion for this as I do.

    I can tell you that I am not only a dedicated reefer, but I really enjoy my fishing too. I am not for one moment condemning fishermen in general, but I can tell you that there are a few guys out there that really need a wakeup call

    Checkers packets full of pinkies, undersize shad and blacktails. It seems our parks board friends are way too preoccupied to do anything about a few packets of pinkies!
    Sadly, I believe that in South Africa, society in general has been let down so badly by the "officials" that we expect nothing more of them than to just ignore what is going on. One thing I can assure you all is that I will voice my opinion to those fishermen when I am on the rocks. Confrontation or not, these people are meant to be adults.

    What really strikes a note with me is that these guys come down to the beach with the entire family in toe. They then sit there with their small children and teach them how to smash the Toby's against the rocks. Maybe I was just brought up differently, but I don’t see how these people believe in their heart that they are educating their kids and enriching their lives with morals and a general respect all living things?

    What’s more, is that a large majority of these guys are not even locals and come from other areas and leave our beaches in a state, kill the livestock, take packet loads of undersized fish away, and then leave the mess for us to live with. They should be ashamed of themselves. I am no tree hugger, but common sense surely must prevail at some point!

    I am grateful for all your comments….

    Regards,
    Sheldon
     
  17. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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  18. ziyaadb

    ziyaadb

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    sad to hear man. great to know that someone really cares.
     
  19. Pistolshrimp

    Pistolshrimp

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    The problem with this is the guys doing the damage are not the type of people to be found on a fishing forum, and then the guys wonder why they catch no fish when they go back next season, bag and size limits are there for a reason,
     
  20. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    It is true dude, but by informing them, when the guys are having a fishing social or comp, they can always get together in numbers and deal with these type of lunatics.
     
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