Recreational fishing is an important activity that delivers substantial social and economic values. Proper management of recreational fisheries relies on information about resource use and associated values by different fishers, but such information is rare, particularly for open access fisheries. In this study a survey of 471 fishers on the Swedish island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea, assessed catches, proportion of catch-and-release (C&R), and economic value (expenditures and willingness to pay, WTP) of sea trout fishing in 2015–2016. Data was analysed in relation to gear used (fly and spin angling, nets and mixed fishery) and fisher connection to fishing site (permanent and temporary residents, Swedish and international tourists). There were marginal differences in daily catch rates, but significant differences in effort and annual catches between different fishers, with resident fishers having the highest catches. Anglers had 86% C&R rates, and fly fishers (>95%) differed significantly from other anglers. Anglers, particularly fly fishers and fishing tourists, had much higher expenditures per year, fish caught and fish kept compared to net fishers. WTP before refraining from fishing, for doubling of fish supply and for potential fishing license was also highest among anglers. Our findings are discussed in terms of distinguishing characteristics for different types of recreational fishers. Fishing efforts, economic values and the need for further studies are also outlined in the context of fisheries and tourism management.
Due to the socioeconomic importance of sardines in the South Atlantic, the aim of this study was to evaluate the fishers’ LEK and the attitudes towards conservation of S. brasiliensis in the fishing village of the Arraial do Cabo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. A total of 134 semi-structured interviews were conducted from April to July 2016. The LEK was classified as moderate (0.56) as well as the conservation attitudes (0.60). It was shown that there was a correlation between LEK and income of fishers. There were differences in LEK and attitudes regarding conservation of sardines in all educational groups analyzed in the sampling population. The LEK and the attitudes also show significant association with boat ownership, occupation and if the fisherman belonged to the local fishing association. As a way to improve fishers’ attitudes in practice, we also encouraged the promotion of education among youth and adults is recommended so that the behavior of fishers becomes more favorable to the conservation of sardines in this fishing community. We also emphasize that local management must take into account the sociodemographic variables of fishers since these can influence LEK and their predisposition to conserve sardines. This approach would increase the likelihood of ensuring the efficient support of the local community in the conservation of this small pelagic fish.
Marine recreational fishing is a popular pastime in a growing number of countries. Obtaining reliable harvests estimates is important to produce more accurate stock assessments and more certain management decisions, however, accurate measurement of marine recreational harvest is challenging.
Previous national fisher diary surveys undertaken in New Zealand during the 1990s gave inconstant estimates of marine recreational harvests. Landline telephone listings and interviews were used to estimate the proportion of New Zealand residents who had fished during the previous 12 months and to recruit diarists. Slight changes in survey method produced variable and at times implausible results.
After three years of planning and pre-testing a large-scale project was undertaken to develop a robust off-site harvest survey method and corroborate the results using with two concurrent on-site survey methods. For the off-site survey, the method was based on a national population proportionate sample of dwellings to recruit a panel of 7000 fishers and 3000 non-fishers using a face-to-face household survey. Panellists were contacted regularly by SMS and telephone for a year with a 94% completion rate. Computer assisted telephone interviews collected details of all species of fish harvested by fishing method. The second was a regional aerial-access survey that collected peak period vessel counts from the air to scale up boat-based harvest from concurrent all-day creel surveys on 45 days. Harvest estimates were generated for the most commonly encountered species, snapper, kahawai, trevally, tarakihi and red gurnard. The third and smallest survey was a combined access point survey in a sub-region using fixed and bus route creel surveys covering all significant access points on different set of random stratified days to the areal access survey. The main objective was to estimate the boat-based harvest by specialist fishers targeting scallop and rock lobster. The three concurrent surveys were designed to generate harvest estimates by fishing platform (boat or land based) at overlapping spatial scales. Harvest, in numbers of fish, were estimated independently for recreational fishers using boats. However, the on-site surveys relied on the proportion of harvest from land-based platforms provided by the off-site survey to derive total regional harvest estimates for all methods. The off-site panel survey relied on average weight data for each fish stock provided by the on-site surveys to convert harvest numbers to weight for management purposes. Choosing a sample frame and survey method that is reliable and repeatable into the future is critical to providing comparable estimates and the ability to monitor trends over time.
Harvest estimates for the most common species in Fisheries Management Area 1, snapper and kahawai, were very similar. The estimates for snapper ranged from 3754 t (cv 0.06) to 3981 t (cv 0.08) and for kahawai 983 t (cv 0.32) to 942 t (cv 0.08). There were greater differences in estimates between surveys for secondary species. Each survey had independent error structures and this multi-method approach has provided valuable insight into likely sources of bias. High quality recreational harvest estimates are important to support management changes in high profile fisheries.
Marine recreational fishing from shore and from private boats in Hawaiʻi is monitored via the Hawaiʻi Marine Recreational Fishing Survey (HMRFS), using an access point intercept survey to collect catch rate information, and the Coastal Household Telephone Survey (CHTS) to collect fishing effort data. In response to a recent HMRFS review, roving surveys of shoreline fishing effort and catch rate, an aerial fishing effort survey, and a mail survey of fishing effort were tested simultaneously on one of the main Hawaiian Islands (Oʻahu) and compared with the current HMRFS approach for producing shoreline fishing estimates. The pilot roving surveys were stratified by region (rural vs urban), shift (three 4-h periods during the day), and day type (weekday vs weekend). A pilot access point survey of private boat fishing was also conducted on Oʻahu, using an alternate sampling design created by NOAA Fisheries’ Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP). Three overlapping 6-h time blocks and site clusters with unequal inclusion probabilities were used to cover daytime fishing. Group catch was recorded for an entire vessel rather than individual catch, which is the current standard for MRIP intercept surveys. Although catch estimates from the pilot private boat survey were comparable to the current HMRFS catch estimates, the catch estimates from the pilot roving survey were lower than the HMRFS estimates. HMRFS uses effort data from the CHTS, which includes both day and night fishing in all areas, to estimate total catch, whereas effort data from the roving shoreline survey covered only daytime fishing from publicly accessible areas. We therefore suggest that a roving survey conducted during the day should have complementary surveys to include night fishing and fishing in remote and private/restricted areas. Results from these pilot studies will be used to improve the current surveys of marine recreational fishing activities in Hawaiʻi.
Examining the reasons why individuals choose to participate or comply with certain fishing regulations is a key part of successful fisheries management. This paper presents a case study that evaluates fisher perceptions of multiple recreational fishery regulations, including traditionally used methods of bag and size limits and a novel regulation involving quota leasing, in the for-hire (i.e., charter) recreational fishing sector for Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) in Alaska. This study examined responses from open-ended and Likert-scale questions from semi-structured interviews with 45 charter operators in Homer and Sitka. Our results highlight that controls on individual harvest can be perceived to have unintended consequences for charter businesses, such as effects on profitability and distance traveled. In response to open-ended questions on a voluntary quota leasing program, participants discussed themes of inequity reflecting broader perceptions of conflicts with the commercial sector and the management system. Perceived inequities that have not been fully addressed can shape how stakeholders feel about current management institutions and affect compliance. Therefore, it is important to understand the historical and political contexts of fishery systems to better anticipate support for future management approaches.
Shark depredation, where a shark consumes a hooked fish before it can be retrieved to the fishing vessel, can occur in recreational fisheries. This may cause higher mortality rates in target fish species, injuries to sharks from fishing gear and negatively impact the recreational fishing experience. This study quantified spatial variation and frequency of shark depredation in a recreational fishery in the Ningaloo Marine Park and Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia, by surveying 248 fishing boats at west coast boat ramps and 155 boats at Exmouth Gulf boat ramps from July 2015 to May 2016. Shark depredation occurred on 38.7% of fishing trips from west coast boat ramps and 41.9% of trips from Exmouth Gulf boat ramps. The mean (±95% CI) shark depredation rate per trip was 13.7 ± 3.3% for demersal fishing (n = 185) and 11.8 ± 6.8% for trolling (n = 63) for west coast boat ramps, compared to 11.5 ± 2.8% (n = 128) and 7.2 ± 8.4% (n = 27) for Exmouth Gulf ramps. Depredation rates varied spatially, with higher depredation in areas which received greater fishing pressure. A novel application of Tweedie generalised additive mixed models indicated that depth, the number of other boats fishing within 5 km and survey period influenced depredation rates for fishing trips from west coast boat ramps. For the Exmouth Gulf ramps, fishing pressure and decreasing latitude positively affected the number of fish depredated. These results highlight the important influence of spatial variation in fishing pressure. The occurrence of higher depredation rates in areas which receive greater fishing pressure may indicate the formation of a behavioural association in the depredating sharks. This study is the first quantitative assessment of shark depredation in an Australian recreational fishery, and provides important insights that can assist recreational fishers and managers in reducing depredation
Human dimensions researchers and fisheries managers have long recognized the value of exploring the heterogeneity that exists amongst recreational fishers. Understanding the differences between fishers has the potential to assist managers in developing targeted communication strategies, direct resources to active management more efficiently and improve understanding of how fishers will respond to changes in regulations or new management interventions. Human dimensions research has traditionally explored fisher heterogeneity through research into the different reasons why people choose to fish, as well as attempts to categorize or segment fishers using variable based approaches. These studies have, to date, relied primarily on large scale, quantitative survey techniques with a particular focus on fisher avidity and commitment. They are therefore limited in their ability to explain how different fishing motivations might interact within an individual, why particular motivations are prioritized, and how this might influence fisher behavior and attitudes. This study trialed a mixed methods approach to understanding fisher heterogeneity based primarily on motivations using a case study in NSW, Australia. This trial involved utilizing a person-centered approach known as Latent Class Analysis (LCA), followed by qualitative, in depth focus group discussions. This revealed five distinct fisher classes; Social fishers, Trophy Fishers, Outdoor Enthusiasts, Generalists and Hunter-Gatherers, each with distinct and significantly different combinations of catch and non-catch-related motivations. The qualitative analysis sought to explore the intersection of motivations and attitudes towards management within and across the different fisher classes. The results highlighted the importance of more detailed examination of the intersection between motivations and attitudes in future LCA, with a particular focus on the potential influence of mastery (or challenge/experience) motivations on fisher attitudes towards marine and fisheries management approaches.
A spatially and temporally stratified scientific observer program was used to examine variation in the diversity and composition of retained and discarded catches in a coastal charter-vessel line fishery. The 181 observed trips yielded 126 species and 13,357 individuals. Overall, 88 and 92 species were retained and discarded, respectively, with 34 and 38 species either solely retained or discarded. The 10 most numerous species accounted for 75% of total individuals, with 40 species encountered only once. Regional-scale differences in retained and discarded catch compositions and diversity were consistent across seasons, with species diversity being greatest in the northern region that encompassed the convergence zone of tropical and temperate waters. Within-region port-related differences in catch compositions were driven by particular species being captured in different quantities and frequencies from vessels at one port compared to the other, and together with the high level of trip-to-trip variation in catches, were the result of localised and often vessel-specific differences in fishing practices, grounds and habitats fished, and client/operator preferences. Habitat-related differences in catch compositions were greatest between bare sand and structured reef and reef/gravel substrata. Discarding patterns varied among regions, with 25–52% of individuals with a prescribed legal length limit, and 14–72% of individuals with no length limit, being discarded. Discarding was due to a combination of compliance with length-based and no-take regulations, as well as client and operator preferences for particular species and sizes, and not the result of catch quotas. The results show that assessments and management of charter fisheries need to consider the human dimensions, as well as the ecological, aspects of catch variation.
A new methodology based in the use of fishers’ knowledge and cost-effective tools to obtain information about marine recreational fisheries (MRF) is presented. The squid and cuttlefish fishery of the Ría of Vigo (NW Spain) was selected because it is managed in a data-poor environment. In-depth interviews (57) were conducted with fishers, collecting ecological and socio-economic information. A cartography of fishing grounds based on their knowledge was obtained, while the intensity of effort and catches was mapped by the monitoring of two vessels with low-cost GPS data loggers. The 102 shore anglers and 248 recreational boats catch 8 t/year of European squid Loligo vulgaris and 11 t/year of common cuttlefish Sepia officinalis (11% of total catches on these species in the area). Shore anglers fish from 11 ports, while boat fishers use 14 fishing grounds (covering 30 km2). Most of the catches (86%) are landed by boats, and their CPUE is higher in the outer part of the Ría of Vigo. The use of fishers’ knowledge and cost-effective monitoring is encouraged to obtain information for the management of MRF. Given the economic contribution of MRF (260,000 €/year in direct expenses), this activity should be considered in the regulations.
Marine Recreational Fishing (MRF) is an important activity in Europe, with 9 million fishers and generating annually € 6 billion in direct expenditures. However, there is a lack of data and understanding of MRF in Europe, particularly in Southern countries, which prevents a number of fish stocks from being effectively assessed and managed. In November 2016, a participatory workshop on MRF was held in Vigo (Spain) to identify challenges and opportunities for data collection, and to diagnose key research gaps and management issues for MRF in the Southern European Atlantic. Experts from a wide range of disciplines (researchers, policy makers, fisheries managers and commercial and recreational fishers) highlighted that the management of MRF is a challenge due to complex and dispersed legal frameworks, with multiple administrations involved, and overlapping uses of space with commercial fishing, aquaculture, navigation and tourism, among others. The lack of strong and representative fishing associations hampers research and management initiatives. Effective communication between recreational fishers, researchers and fisheries managers is also lacking. Despite the ecological, social and economic relevance of MRF, there is no systematic and comprehensive collection of information on fishing effort, recreational catches, expenses, social profile and access conditions of European recreational fishers. These data would be useful to avoid biases in the assessment of recreational fisheries due to the great diversity of ecosystems, species and typologies of users. Strategic recommendations and research priorities were also identified to address knowledge gaps and are discussed in the context of the management of MRF across Europe.