The European Parliament has ordered a study on recreational sea fisheries. The contract is worth 120,000 EUR and the deadline for bids is on 8 November. The winner of the contract will be announced in December. Then the winner has 14 months to deliver the study entitled “Recreational and semi-subsistence fishing - its value and its impact on fish stocks".
A precursor report, entitled “Feasibility of Measuring Socio-Economic and Environmental Impacts of Recreational and Semi-Subsistence Fisheries in the EU”, has already been paid for and presented to the Committee on Fisheries during the meeting of the 10th of October.
The European Anglers Alliance and the European Fishing Tackle Trade Association have been asking for a pan-European study on recreational fisheries for more than a decade. Such a study should be repeated regularly, e.g. every five years as it happens in some countries. This in order to establish data time series/trend data, which are needed for decision makers and managers to be able to follow the development in the number of recreational fishers, their catches and the sector’s contribution of jobs and economy to society, which is needed for managing and developing the sector on a good informed basis.
The research study that has now been ordered will give the European Parliament a good sense of what recreational (sea) fishing is (main definition and its sub-segments) and the scale and economic value of this sector. The study will most likely become a key reference document for the future work of the European Parliament on recreational (sea) fisheries.
It is very important that this study gets right the recreational fishing terms and vocabulary in use, which can be confusing in any language, and even more so when translated from one language to another. We will offer our help to achieve that.
120,000 EUR cannot deliver the kind of study we would like to see conducted in all EU countries every fifth year, which should include sea as well as freshwater fishing. But it is an important initiative and a mile-stone for that to happen later. For that we are very grateful that the Committee on Fisheries has ordered this study. The study also, we hope, will convince the Members of the European Parliament that recreational fishing should be included prominently the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) next time the CFP is reformed.