Recreational Fisheries

Winds, waves, warm waters, weekdays, and which ways boats are counted influence predicted visitor use at an offshore fishing destination

Kendall MS, Williams BL, Winship AJ, Carson M, Grissom K, Rowell TJ, Stanley J, Roberson KW. Winds, waves, warm waters, weekdays, and which ways boats are counted influence predicted visitor use at an offshore fishing destination. Fisheries Research [Internet]. 2021 ;237:105879. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165783621000072?dgcid=raven_sd_search_email
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Quantifying the number of recreational fishers is important for many aspects of managing coastal resources. Unfortunately, quantifying recreational boaters in offshore settings has proven difficult due to their distance from shore and a lack of cost-effective methods to monitor small boats (<10 m length). We investigated visitor-use at an offshore marine protected area (MPA) in the southeastern USA. We used multiple methods of counting boats (satellites, buoy camera, passive acoustics, and boat-based observations) and a generalized linear modeling approach to identify environmental and calendar-based predictor variables that influenced visitation. Based on the model, predicted visitor-encounter rates were estimated for various weather and calendar-based scenarios, and the probability of detecting a hypothetical change in visitation with each counting method was examined through a power analysis. The most important predictors were day of the week, special day (e.g., tournament), water temperature, and wave height. Boat counts were 2–5 times higher on weekend days than on weekdays. More boats were predicted on weekdays with good weather (defined as water temperature 24 °C, wave height 0.5 m), than weekends with decent weather (17 °C and 1 m). Considering weekends alone, those with good weather were predicted to have 5 times higher visitation than weekends with decent weather. Predicted visitation was highest on calm days, dropped by ∼75 % when wave height reached 1 m, and was essentially zero when wave height exceeded 1.5 m. Highest counts were predicted when water temperature was warmest and gradually declined as temperatures cooled. For the buoy camera and passive acoustic boat-count methods, power analysis suggested that 3–6 years of typical samples before and after a hypothetical 25 % increase in visitation would be needed to have an 80 % chance of detecting the change. Other techniques would take 14 or more years of typical samples. The process used here for investigating visitation can be adapted to other offshore or remote locations.

Marine reserve benefits and recreational fishing yields: The winners and the losers

Kayal M, Cigala M, Cambra E, Soulat N, Mercader M, Lebras A, Ivanoff P, Sébési L, Lassus-Debat A, Hartmann V, et al. Marine reserve benefits and recreational fishing yields: The winners and the losers Belgrano A. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2020 ;15(12):e0237685. Available from: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0237685
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Marine reserves constitute effective tools for preserving fish stocks and associated human benefits. However, not all reserves perform equally, and predicting the response of marine communities to management actions in the long run is challenging. Our decadal-scale survey of recreational fishing yields at France’s 45-year old Cerbère-Banyuls marine reserve indicated significant protection benefits, with 40–50% higher fishing yields per unit effort in the partial-protection zone of the reserve (where fishing is permitted but at a lower level) than in surrounding non-reserve areas. Over the period 2005–2014, catch per unit effort (CPUE) declined both inside and outside the reserve, while weight per unit effort (WPUE) increased by 131% inside and decreased by 60% outside. Different CPUE and WPUE trajectories among fish families indicated changing catch assemblages, with yields increasing for the family most valued by fisheries, Sparidae (the ecological winners). However, reserve benefits were restricted to off-shore fishermen (the social winners), as on-shore yields were ~4 times lower and declining, even inside the reserve. Our study illustrates how surveys of recreational fishing yields can help evaluate the effectiveness of marine protected areas for key social and ecological protagonists. We show that, more than four decades after its establishment, fishing efficiencies at the historical Cerbère-Banyuls marine reserve are still changing, but benefits in terms of catch abundance, weight, and composition remain predominantly restricted to off-shore fishermen. Further regulations appear necessary to guarantee that conservation strategies equitably benefit societal groups.

Me and My Behavior: An Experiment on Individual Characteristics and Compliance Behavior in Recreational Fishing

Mackay M, van Putten EIngrid, Yamazaki S, Jennings S, Sibly H. Me and My Behavior: An Experiment on Individual Characteristics and Compliance Behavior in Recreational Fishing. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2020 ;7. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2020.579213/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1452864_45_Marine_20201008_arts_A
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Non-compliance with regulations is a complex problem in recreational fisheries management, having the potential to evoke uncertainty for conservation and socio-ecological outcomes and to undermine management efforts. While we know that in fisheries people make trade-offs between following or breaking rules, it is of interest to determine how people respond to different management incentives to curtail non-compliance. The overall aim of this study is to examine what individual psycho-social characteristics are associated with responses to instrumental and normative management incentives in a recreational fisheries context through the use of an economic experiment. We examined five psycho-social characteristics, three of which (expectation of behavior of others, social norms, and risk preferences) have separately been explored within the fisheries compliance literature, while two factors (ecological values and personality types) have yet to be explored. While information about these two latter characteristics is limited within the fisheries compliance literature, our results suggest that they are relevant predictors for certain compliance groups across compliance incentives. The findings underline that there is significant heterogeneity in the associations between psycho-social make-up and compliance behaviors. Knowledge of this behavioral relationship can progress fisheries management toward increased innovation by encouraging the management of the individual fisher rather than the average fisher.

An Interview-Based Approach to Assess Angler Practices and Sea Turtle Captures on Mississippi Fishing Piers

Cook M, Dunch VS, Coleman AT. An Interview-Based Approach to Assess Angler Practices and Sea Turtle Captures on Mississippi Fishing Piers. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2020 ;7. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2020.00655/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1406443_45_Marine_20200818_arts_A
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

During 2010–2015, the Mississippi Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network (STSSN) documented 1,073 sea turtles, primarily juvenile Kemp’s ridleys (Lepidochelys kempii), incidentally caught by recreational anglers. Due to increases in interactions, an angler interview survey was conducted during 2013 at six Mississippi fishing piers. Anglers were interviewed about fishing practices and sea turtle interactions. Interviewers conducted outreach and distributed Rehabilitation Hotline business cards. Angler participation was 86%, and over 60% used J-hooks and were not targeting specific species, which was similar to data collected from incidental captures reported to the STSSN. Over 58% of anglers used dead shrimp followed by cut up fish for bait. This greatly differs from STSSN reported captured sea turtles where 60% were caught on cut up fish and only 6% on dead shrimp. Over 18% of participants captured at least one sea turtle in the last 12 months. Anglers stated that nearly half of the sea turtles were taken for rehabilitation, 41% were released by the angler and 10% broke the line and swam away. Only 60% of anglers reported the capture because many were unaware they should report it. During and after the survey period, there was an increase in reported incidental captures, possibly indicating outreach is an effective means of increasing awareness and reporting. Recently, NOAA Fisheries developed a survey that can be used nationally to conduct similar research. We recommend conducting angler surveys every few years unless there is a noticeable change in incidental capture trends or angler practices.

The Use of Recreational Fishers’ Ecological Knowledge to Assess the Conservation Status of Marine Ecosystems

Pita P, Antelo M, Hyder K, Vingada J, Villasante S. The Use of Recreational Fishers’ Ecological Knowledge to Assess the Conservation Status of Marine Ecosystems. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2020 ;7. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2020.00242/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1320398_45_Marine_20200505_arts_A
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

There is a reluctance to incorporate Fishers’ Ecological Knowledge (FEK) into the evidence base used to underpin marine management decisions. FEK has proved to be useful as an alternative reference of biological changes in data-poor scenarios. Yet, recreational fisher knowledge has rarely been included in scientific studies despite being a source of FEK. Here, the use of recreational FEK to assess the conservation status of marine ecosystems in Galicia (NW Spain) was evaluated. Galicia has a highly complex marine socioecological system that includes both a large global commercial fleet and a powerful recreational sector, alongside other important stakeholders (e.g., tourism, aquaculture). Anglers and spear fishers were asked to provide their perceptions of the conservation status of fish stocks and the impacts on marine ecosystems. Face-to-face interviews were transcribed into text and analyzed using text mining tools. Key concepts were used to quantify fishers’ perceptions of changes in their target fish stocks and quantify the main impacts on marine ecosystems. Overfishing and habitat loss, followed by reduction in biodiversity, pollution, and warming temperatures were considered to be the main drivers of the poor status of cephalopods and finfish stocks. Perceived temporal declines in fish stocks were consistent with available biological data, highlighting the potential for recreational FEK to be used to assess long-term ecological changes. It was important to seek opinions from different users, including fishers from traditional commercial and recreational fisheries, as these groups had good knowledge of the impacts on natural and cultural community heritage. The poor status of ballan wrasse (Labrus bergylta) and kelp beds was identified, which was of concern due to it being a key species in coastal ecosystems. Use of FEK is a good approach to develop knowledge of these systems, but broader monitoring programs are needed to protect the future of these ecosystems.

The Use of Recreational Fishers’ Ecological Knowledge to Assess the Conservation Status of Marine Ecosystems

Pita P, Antelo M, Hyder K, Vingada J, Villasante S. The Use of Recreational Fishers’ Ecological Knowledge to Assess the Conservation Status of Marine Ecosystems. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2020 ;7. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2020.00242/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

There is a reluctance to incorporate Fishers’ Ecological Knowledge (FEK) into the evidence base used to underpin marine management decisions. FEK has proved to be useful as an alternative reference of biological changes in data-poor scenarios. Yet, recreational fisher knowledge has rarely been included in scientific studies despite being a source of FEK. Here, the use of recreational FEK to assess the conservation status of marine ecosystems in Galicia (NW Spain) was evaluated. Galicia has a highly complex marine socioecological system that includes both a large global commercial fleet and a powerful recreational sector, alongside other important stakeholders (e.g., tourism, aquaculture). Anglers and spear fishers were asked to provide their perceptions of the conservation status of fish stocks and the impacts on marine ecosystems. Face-to-face interviews were transcribed into text and analyzed using text mining tools. Key concepts were used to quantify fishers’ perceptions of changes in their target fish stocks and quantify the main impacts on marine ecosystems. Overfishing and habitat loss, followed by reduction in biodiversity, pollution, and warming temperatures were considered to be the main drivers of the poor status of cephalopods and finfish stocks. Perceived temporal declines in fish stocks were consistent with available biological data, highlighting the potential for recreational FEK to be used to assess long-term ecological changes. It was important to seek opinions from different users, including fishers from traditional commercial and recreational fisheries, as these groups had good knowledge of the impacts on natural and cultural community heritage. The poor status of ballan wrasse (Labrus bergylta) and kelp beds was identified, which was of concern due to it being a key species in coastal ecosystems. Use of FEK is a good approach to develop knowledge of these systems, but broader monitoring programs are needed to protect the future of these ecosystems.

Estimating Global Catches of Marine Recreational Fisheries

Freire KMeirelles, Belhabib D, Espedido JC, Hood L, Kleisner KM, Lam VWL, Machado ML, Mendonça JTomasino, Meeuwig JJ, Moro PS, et al. Estimating Global Catches of Marine Recreational Fisheries. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2020 ;7. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fmars.2020.00012/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Commercial fisheries catches by country are documented since 1950 by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Unfortunately, this does not hold for marine recreational catches, of which only few, if any, estimates are reported to FAO. We reconstructed preliminary estimates of likely marine recreational catches for 1950–2014, based on independent reconstructions for 125 countries. Our estimates of marine recreational catches that are retained and landed increased globally until the early 1980s, stabilized through the 1990s, and began increasing again thereafter, amounting to around 900,000 t⋅year–1 in 2014. Marine recreational catches thus account for slightly less than 1% of total global marine catches. Trends vary regionally, increasing in Asia, South America and Africa, while slightly decreasing in Europe and Oceania, and strongly decreasing in North America. The derived taxonomic composition indicates that recent catches were dominated by Sparidae (12% of total catches), followed by Scombridae (10%), Carangidae (6%), Gadidae (5%), and Sciaenidae (4%). The importance of Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) in recreational fisheries in some regions is of concern, given the life-history traits of these taxa. Our preliminary catch reconstruction, despite high data uncertainty, should encourage efforts to improve national data reporting of recreational catches.

Assessing Knowledge Gaps and Management Needs to Cope With Barriers for Environmental, Economic, and Social Sustainability of Marine Recreational Fisheries: The Case of Spain

Pita P, Alós J, Antelo M, Artetxe I, Biton-Porsmoguer S, Carreño A, Cuadros A, Font T, Beiro J, García-Charton JA, et al. Assessing Knowledge Gaps and Management Needs to Cope With Barriers for Environmental, Economic, and Social Sustainability of Marine Recreational Fisheries: The Case of Spain. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2020 ;7. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fmars.2020.00023/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The European Parliament is concerned about the lack of information on the relevance of nine million Europeans engaged in marine recreational fishing (MRF), committing Member States to encourage environmental and socioeconomic sustainability of the sector. The objective of this paper is to provide recommendations to guide research actions and management policies, based on the case of Spain, a key country because its complex administrative regimen and the intensive use of its coasts, including 900,000 recreational fishers. A review of the state of the knowledge was performed to identify research gaps, while governance challenges were identified in an International Symposium on MRF. In the last two decades research on MRF was remarkable (139 publications). However, public investment in research (€2.44 million in the same period) should be improved to cover knowledge gaps on socioeconomic relevance, on impacts on vulnerable species and on implications of global warming. The license system should be standardized to allow estimation of effort, catch and expenditure. Social networks, mobile applications, fisher ecological knowledge, and citizen science programs could help to develop cost-effective research and management. Science-based, adaptive policies should improve the allocation of resources between MRF and other stakeholders, introducing co-management to reduce conflicts.

Expected Economic and Biological Impacts of Recreational Atlantic Striped Bass Fishing Policy

Carr-Harris A, Steinback S. Expected Economic and Biological Impacts of Recreational Atlantic Striped Bass Fishing Policy. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2020 ;6. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00814/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Understanding how recreational angling effort responds to regulatory adjustment is important for rebuilding overfished stocks such as Atlantic striped bass Morone saxatilis. In this paper, we use stated preference choice experiment data to evaluate how individual angler participation may respond to changes in fishing trip characteristics, particularly the number of small, medium-sized, and trophy striped bass kept and released. We use these results to simulate the aggregate effect of alternative fishing policies in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut on angler welfare, angler effort, recreational fishing mortality, and female spawning stock biomass (SSB). We find that a wide range of economically efficient policies are available if the primary management objective is to control recreational fishing mortality. In contrast, we find that the range of efficient policies is quite narrow if the primary management objective is to protect female SSB. Additionally, only one of the 36 alternative policies analyzed; a one-fish harvest slot of 28″ to 36″, is expected to achieve a non-trivial reduction in both total and female spawning stock removals relative to the actual 2015 policy of one fish, 28″ or longer. Implementing a one-fish harvest slot of 28″ to 36″ comes with minimal costs in terms of foregone angler welfare due to the relatively low rate at which trophy striped bass in excess of 36″ are encountered.

Monitoring Populations in Partially Protected Marine Areas: Comparisons of Length Data Derived from Recreational Angler Surveys and Fishery‐Independent Surveys

Ochwada‐Doyle FA, Johnson DD. Monitoring Populations in Partially Protected Marine Areas: Comparisons of Length Data Derived from Recreational Angler Surveys and Fishery‐Independent Surveys. Marine and Coastal Fisheries [Internet]. 2019 ;11(6):454 - 471. Available from: https://afspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/mcf2.10093
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

In partially protected marine areas, such as recreational fishing havens (RFHs), fishery‐independent surveys and recreational angler surveys represent two of the few available methods of collecting length‐frequency data to monitor population responses to protection from commercial fishing and the impacts of ongoing recreational fishing. Although length data plays an important role in facilitating stock assessment and monitoring within RFHs, little is known about the relative magnitude and direction of size‐selective biases introduced by fishery‐independent surveys and angler surveys. This study quantitatively compared length data derived from the two methods for three exploited species or taxa (bream species complex of Acanthopagrus spp. [hybrid complex of Black Bream A. butcheri × Yellowfin Bream A. australis], Dusky Flathead Platycephalus fuscus, and Sand Whiting Sillago ciliata) sampled from two estuarine RFHs in Australia. When all lengths sampled by each method were compared, the species‐specific length frequencies derived from angler surveys and fishery‐independent surveys differed significantly in all cases but for Dusky Flathead from one RFH. Following standardization for minimum‐legal‐length restrictions, the angler survey method captured a more representative spectrum of lengths for Acanthopagrus spp. For Dusky Flathead, angler surveys and fishery‐independent surveys performed equally in terms of the lengths captured. Although length frequencies for Sand Whiting above minimum legal length differed significantly between the methods in both RFHs, spatial inconsistencies precluded a clear conclusion for this species. The fact that neither method consistently outperformed the other across all species supports the idea that using both angler surveys and fishery‐independent surveys in a complimentary manner may enable a clearer understanding of size compositions across multiple species for monitoring and stock assessment purposes and thereby facilitate an ecosystem‐based approach to fishery assessment and management.

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