The Northern Cape Department of Agriculture, Land Reform & Rural Development (NC-DALRRD) has identified Vanderkloof Dam as being situated within a priority area for development. The nearby towns of Keurtjieskloof, Petrusville and Phillipstown have high levels of unemployment and poor food security.
NC-DALRRD has recognized the potential that inland fisheries may have for local rural communities and wishes to explore possibilities to develop small-scale fisheries at the Vanderkloof Dam. The Rural Fisheries Programme (undertaken by the Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science, Rhodes University) has been mandated to assess this potential through the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of experimental fisheries.
Experiments will produce baseline catch data for the determination of sustainable harvest levels and trends in catch rates, which are needed for the development of future management actions. In particular, data will be used to assess the biological sustainability and economic feasibility of a small-scale business framework in order to make an informed decision on whether to implement the next phase (small-scale commercial fishery).
The website has recently been launched for this project and can be found at www.vanderklooffisheries.co.za