For as long as I can remember the Black Musselcracker or Poenskop has been at the top of my species bucket list whilst fishing from my jetski. Having caught these incredible fish from the boat I knew that this wasn’t going to be the easiest task.
Black musselcracker / Poenskop (Cymatoceps nasutus) are endemic, slow growing, long-lived fish making them extremely vulnerable to fishing pressure. Although recent analyses seem to indicate that the stock is optimally exploited, considerable uncertainty remains. Black musselcracker are listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. They are found along the South African coast from Western Cape to KwaZulu-Natal. After consulting with local experts, we decided to do a tag and release mission deep into the Transkei (For the sake of preserving this magnificent species I will not disclose the exact location).