The ultimate Christmas gift for South African anglers is now available

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This year there’s no need for last-minute Christmas shopping or brainstorming gift ideas for that avid angler in your life, simply purchase the comprehensive ‘Marine Fish Guide of Southern Africa’ app which provides all the relevant information about fish and fishing through any mobile device.

Created over two years by Dr Bruce Mann of the Oceanographic Research Institute based at Durban’s SAAMBR (South African Association for Marine Biological Research) – assisted by Dr Judy  Mann – this easy-to-use app has accurate information and images of 249 fish species. A fish scientist with more than 30 years’ experience in the field, Dr Mann was the perfect individual to drive the creation of the app.

“How many times have you seen a fish and wished you knew what it was? Or wished that you could simply measure your fish and know instantly what it weighed? Or that you could work out which species of kob you had landed?” said Dr Mann, explaining the thinking behind the app. “We made the Marine Fish Guide of Southern Africa app because of our passion for South Africa’s linefish and our hope to bring a little more information to our local anglers.”

The app is based on linefish research undertaken in South Africa over the last 50 years, focusing on 249 of the most common fish species caught along the South African coast. The Marine Fish Guide of Southern Africa app includes brilliant photos, up-to-date information, distribution maps, current regulations, comparisons of similar fish species and a length-weight calculator.

Dr Mann said collating the information and photos took ‘longer than we ever imagined’ but was worth the toil: “We hope that anglers will enjoy using the app to learn more about the fish they catch. And we hope that the app will inspire everyone with an interest in fish to care a little more about our amazing linefish.”

Dr Larry Oellermann, SAAMBR CEO, has expressed his delight at the creation of the Marine Fish Guide of Southern Africa app: “This is something I’ve dreamed of for years – a way to figure out what species I’ve caught, and all the information I need to know about it. Now I have 50 years of linefish research at my fingertips.”

 

The Marine Fish Guide of Southern Africa app features include:

· Species details for 249 linefish: This includes multiple, high-quality images, a species profile including common, scientific and family names; description; global and local distribution; habitat; feeding; movement; reproduction; age and growth; current status; capture; and a simple map of the species’ distribution in southern African waters.

· The search function:  This enables the user to search for fish using common names in English or Afrikaans, or by using their scientific name.

· Fish Groups: This provides a simple line drawing of the general shape of different fish families. Clicking on the shape takes the user to the family of fish in this group, as well as actual images of each species.

· Fish ID: This is a fun section that allows the user to identify what fish species has been caught or seen. It is designed as a ‘smart search’ using easy-to-see features.

· The Length/Weight Calculator: This is a useful tool that can be used by anglers who release the fish but want to know what the weight was. Simply measure the fish before it is released, enter this measurement and the approximate weight is automatically calculated according to the length/weight equation for that species.

· My List: This allows the user to record personal catches or fish observations.

· Fishing Regulations: This provides useful information on the current linefish regulations for marine recreational anglers in South Africa. A general summary of the regulations as well as species-specific regulations are provided.

All proceeds from the sale of the Marine Fish Guide of Southern Africa app will go towards the ORI Cooperative Fish Tagging Project. This means that every app sold will encourage a better understanding of South African linefish.

For more information on the Marine Fish Guide of Southern Africa app, contact Dr Judy Mann at  jmann@saambr.org.za or visit https://www.saambr.org.za/marine-fish-guide-for-southern-africa-app/. The App was produced by MyDigitalEarth (www.mydigitalearch.com) and is available for both iPhone or Android under ‘Marine Fish Guide of Southern Africa’.

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