Sweden – New recreational fisheries management measures proposed

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14 May

The proposed measures suggest to give priority to recreational angling over other kinds of recreational fishing at sea and in the five major lakes.

In autumn 2017, the Swedish Seawater and Water Authority, HaV was commissioned by the government to draw up a proposal for reporting obligations for other fishers than commercial fishers. HaV was also commissioned, together with the Swedish Board of Agriculture, to investigate if and how it is possible to allocate the nationally available fishery resource between different fisheries segments for reasons other than fisheries conservation, for example to promote fishing tourism in an area. 

The report has now been delivered. "The purpose is to provide the basic conditions for an ecosystem-based fisheries management approach, allowing for promotion of recreational fishing and fishing tourism while ensuring a viable commercial fishery," says Ingemar Berglund, Head of the Fisheries Management Department at HaV. “Implementing the proposals opens new opportunities for HaV to develop management and promote small-scale professional fishing, recreational fishing and fishing tourism." 

HaV suggests to give priority to recreational angling [rod and line fishing] over other kinds of recreational fishing at sea and in the five major lakes. But HaV should be tasked to allow the use of other recreational gear like nets, fyke nets, cages and long-lines, too, taking into account the situation of the fish stocks. 

At present, recreational fishers do not need to register or report their catches. However, fishing possibilities may be affected by national laws and regulations on e.g. closed periods, protected areas and, in some cases, also catch limitations with regard to rod and line. 

- “The recreational fishing for coastal species and in freshwaters is significant, both in terms of catches and the socio-economic value. We have a good picture of the catches by Swedish commercial fishers but we do not know enough about the recreational fisheries sector e.g. how much it affects the fish stocks,” said Ingemar Berglund. 

- "We do not propose a general registration- and reporting obligation for the recreational fisheries, only if there are special reasons for doing so, and such a register is funded through HaV's appropriations," said Håkan Carlstrand. 

- "Marking of catches, for example, provides an opportunity to introduce targets for how many salmon can be caught per year by other than commercial fishers, and for individual distribution of the salmon quota for commercial fisheries," says Håkan Carlstrand. 

The proposals submitted by HaV to the government mean that the fishing act and the regulation governing HaV's ability to decide on the rules for fishing need be changed. Ultimately, it is a matter for government and parliament to decide. 

Full release (in Swedish) available here.  

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