YELLOWFISH WORKING GROUP - YWG March 2019 newsletter

 Dear YWG supporter,

Vaal River Pollution Spill

Please find below a questionnaire compiled by Prof. Nellie de Crom of North West University on the Vaal River spill and its aftermath. Will you please distribute it to your friends and colleagues especially to visitors, recreational users, residents and stakeholders who engage with the Vaal River between the Vaal Dam Wall (upstream) and Vermaasdrift (downstream). Please participate by clicking here.

We will keep you posted on developments.


Vanderkloof Dam

Last month we invited Qurban Rouhani who is the Director of the Rural Fisheries Programme, Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science, Rhodes University and the Project Leader of the Experimental Fishery Project on Vanderkloof Dam to provide regular reports on this project.  We published his first article in the February newsletter and once again have invited him to contribute to this newsletter. Our objective of is to make available as much information as possible about this experiment so that everyone has access to the facts.

This is an approved small-scale short term (2 years) project aimed at assessing the feasibility of a possible community-based fishery on a tiny portion of a very big dam.  Part of the research relates to the resource sustainability, given different harvesting methodologies, including the controversial gill nets. (Obviously FOSAF would have hoped this was not allowed but it has been so we must deal with it.)  Part of the research relates to the nature and extent of the possible market for the catch.  Hence the sale of what is being harvested.  All this appears to permitted and above board.  The research findings/results will determine what happens next.  We need to play our role in keeping the researchers, government and the other parties honest and ensuring that at the end of the day the resource is managed in a sustainable manner and protected for future generations.

We have only entered the debate at this very late stage. Although we were invited to participate when the project was first proposed in 2014 it was beyond our capability given the very high costs and the other important projects our small and mainly voluntary group were committed to and still are. And no doubt we would have opposed gill netting had we participated but we now must deal with the situation as it is in 2019. If you follow our FOSAF Facebook you may have seen criticism of the stance we are taking in this matter. Much of this is misinformation, and in many cases downright defamatory and not worth responding to. We have therefore had to remove some of the comments and blocked one of the contributors.

For Qurban Rouhani’s article on the use of gillnets at Vanderkloof please click here.

The Middle Vaal

Our Chris Williams who remains committed to finding a resolution to this serious problem reports that the army have made very good progress in rehabilitating some of the Emfuleni sewage plants. but they have now run out of funds and none appear to be forthcoming in the near future so their work has come to a halt. The Vaal in this area and downstream remains very polluted and anglers should take this serious problem into account. Moreover, the Vaal in the Villiers area where it enters Vaal Dam is also badly polluted


Kind regards,



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