A butterfly fish caught in a fly fishing trap is the first one ever caught in the wild in South Africa.
The fly trap was set up at an industrial park in the city of Pretoria in December.
The fish was caught by a diver and released back into the ocean.
The catch is the result of a collaboration between a South African Butterfly Fish Foundation and a wildlife conservation organisation called Wild WildAid.
The Fish Foundation says it is one of the few fly traps in the world that allows the capture of a wild species without harming the fish.
The Butterfly Fish Conservation Foundation (CWCF) says the catch shows that conservation is possible in South African waters.
“The catch highlights the importance of the WildAid programme in protecting wildlife from exploitation and is a welcome result of conservation efforts in South Asia,” the CWCF said in a statement.
“It also demonstrates the potential of the fly trap to help conserve wildlife in South Australia.”
It has been five years since South Africa first began allowing the use of fly traps.
Butterfly Fish Foundation founder and head of wildlife conservation Michael Brown says the fish caught was probably the first fish ever caught by fly fishing in South America.
“This is a very unique case, it’s a very special fish,” he said.
“We have never seen anything like it in South South Africa.”
The catch was made at an outdoor fishing camp in the southern city of Port Elizabeth.
“A fisherman set up the trap and when it went up, it got caught on the hook,” Brown said.
The fisherman had been trying to fish for an eight-foot butterfly fish called the basa fish in the area for three months.
“I was trying to catch a butterfly fish, but I couldn’t get it out of the trap,” he told news.com.au.
“So I pulled the hook and threw it out to the sea.”
The fly fishing community is thrilled at the success of the catch, he said, with a lot of people from the fishing community visiting the camp to catch butterflies.
“They’re very happy about it and they’re very excited to be part of this project,” he added.
Brown says the conservation community hopes to see more fly trap catches in South American waters.
The conservation group has also released two butterfly fish that were caught in South Korea, one of which was released back to the wild.