Yellowtail stocks are currently considered to be optimally exploited after they recovered from earlier over-exploitation in a now-closed purse seine fishery; catches have since remained relatively stable and have increased in some areas.
Yellowtail are a large, pelagic schooling species which undergo unpredictable seasonal migrations. They are a resilient and fast-growing species with high fecundity (fertility), reaching sexual maturity after 2-3 years. Their nomadic lifestyle makes them less vulnerable to overfishing.
Yellowtail are an important species in the traditional linefishery, particularly in the Western and South Western Cape which operates from small ski- and deckboats within the inshore zone along most of the South African coastline. They are also targeted by recreational linefishers and are also caught by treknetters in the False Bay beach seine fishery. Linefishing is a relatively selective fishing method which has few impacts on the marine environment and is carried out with either a rod and reel or a handline. There is generally very little bycatch or habitat damage caused by this fishing method. However, some species targeted by this fishery are over-exploited or collapsed because of their specific life history characteristics.