The South African Carp Society is a member based organisation with the sole purpose of promoting the sport of ethical carp angling in Southern Africa, providing education to anglers on proper fish care and taking on environmental challenges related to angling. Furthermore we also provide private venues for members to fish.
The SA Carp Society strives to:
- Encourage ALL anglers to take positive and pro-active action to protect our sport and to release carp weighing 8 kilograms and more.
- To unite all carp angling groups in order to maximise our collective political voice.
- Defend all the angling rights and interests of our members.
- Represent all our members at national level within the angling governing bodies, other major bodies and organisations, in particular with regard to environmental and political matters of concern to carp angling.
- Secure funding to further the cause of carp angling and the environment.
- Campaign on behalf of members for a cleaner aquatic environment. This includes the support of those organisations already active in these areas.
- Challenge and resist threats to carp angling, indigenous fish species and the environment.
- To play an active role in formulating any legislation which impacts on carp angling, indigenous fish species and its environment.
- Promote the universal adoption of a responsible Code of Conduct for carp anglers.
- Develop ongoing dialogue with other established conservation groups and build a closer relationship between all carp anglers and the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT).
- Increase contact with various bodies to foster mutual understanding and co-operation. These bodies include, but are not limited to DEAT, SABA, SABO, etc.
- Combat anti-carp angling propaganda.
- To collect and record factual information on notable fish captures through a voluntary reporting scheme.
- To continue to provide a unified body for the benefit of all the members of the South African Carp Society.
- To source / establish proper and safe private carp fishing venues for our members.
- To educate all anglers to practice proper fish care and fish safety.
Carp Angling in South Africa is facing a lot of challenges. If we want to ensure its future in South Africa, we need to stand together. If we want to make a difference we have to address each challenge in numbers. That is one lesson we have learnt in the last few years.
Let's take the bow fishing issue for example:
When I published an article on Bow Fishing on OutdoorPAGES I was heavily criticised by local bow hunting forums. I was even contacted by local magazine publishers. I was told that I am biased and that I am only in it for my own financial gain, for sensation, and the list goes on and on.
Bow hunters have two organisations fighting their cause, SABA and SABO. Who is André Dicks or OutdoorPAGES for that matter? Why would they listen? That is why people are looking for other reasons and they do not really trust our intentions.
During this entire saga, I realised that carp fishermen in South Africa must unite. We can only fight against one organisation with another organisation. And so, two years ago, I realised that we need numbers to address most issues in Carp angling. If they want numbers, we will give them numbers and show them that we mean business and demand respect.
But still, I found the idea of establishing a Carp Society very challenging. We needed financial assistance, access to the media and various other platforms. And most of all we needed the support from the anglers.
In May of 2008 I had the opportunity to spend a few hours with Mitch Smith who, at that stage, was the captain of the England carp fishing team. I informally discussed various issues with him, including the pollution, bow fishing and commercial netting challenges we face. Mitch took it all in and nonchalantly replied:, "André, all you have to do is to take a shovel, dig a hole and put carp in it. That will be the future of carp fishing in South Africa" and WHAM! the SA Carp Society was born. Thank you Mitch. Since my discussion with Mitch and with the support of OutdoorPAGES it took me two years of conceptualization and planning for everything to fall in place. The SA Carp Society was officially launched on the 1st of October 2008.
From 1 November 2010 the SA Carp Society address many of the challenges faced by members and the angling environment through pro-active alliances the SA Carp Society has established with various forum platforms as well as organizations and the angling media. The society immediately have access to leading angling websites and the media to promote the cause. This also assists the SA Carp Society with immediate exposure.
The bow fishing issue mentioned above is just one example. Other issues where we were actively involved include:
Gillnetting / poaching stings at Hartebeespoort Dam and Roodekopjes Dam with Eco Care Trust and the South African Police Services (SAPS) since 2003.
Pollution in the Vaal River and more specifically the town of Bloemhof where we gathered incriminating footage on the subject. Anglers were made aware of these issues through magazines and the Going For Gold DVD series.
Pollution in the Donaldson Dam where again footage were shown in the Going For Gold DVD series and parts were used on the Special Assignment TV show.
Over the years various other incidents of pollution were reported to various newspapers, magazines and TV shows.
Sourcing information and photos of the crocodile kill at Arabie Dam. Issuing of rewards and investigating the reports of wounded crocodiles at Roodekopjes Dam.
Bow Fishing activities at the Roodeplaat Dam were reported to us. The culprits were exposed and the issues were addressed on the same day.
Launching a carp rescue operation at Civic Lake, Benoni during October 2010 to shift carp to another venue after it was trapped in a corner of the lake.
Taking on the problem at Rietvlei Dam during February 2011 due to the poor state of the public angling grounds and electricity and water that was not available for months.
Addressed with angling magazines during March 2011 the challenge of photos published displaying fish that was poorly treated and in a bad state. Magazines were requested not to publish such photos and to rather publish articles to educate anglers on proper fish care.
- Took on the problem at Roodeplaat Dam during early April 2011 when fish poachers removed a large total of more than 120 fish from the dam to sell it to a butchery without the necessary permits in place. The incident was reported to the police and other authorities who acted against the alleged perpetrators. Thanks to conventional anglers for reporting this issue to the SA Carp Society.
See Environmetal for more...