On 7 September, the RecFishing Forum hosted a webinar on the impacts of climate change on recreational fisheries, co-chaired by MEP Niclas Herbst and MEP Franc Bogovič. Panellists and participants discussed how climate change is impacting the freshwater and marine ecosystems, building on the case studies of the Alpine waters and of the North Sea.
Three panellists took the floor to discuss the various impacts of climate change on the aquatic environment and on the recreational fisheries sector. Regarding the freshwater environment, Marijan Govedič, Director of the Centre for Cartography of Fauna and Flora (Slovenia), insisted on the need to consider both the visible (water regimes and temperature) and invisible changes on rivers (in the interstitial and riparian zones) which affect the natural resilience of ecosystems. Adding to that, Igor Miličić, Secretary General of the Fishing Association of Slovenia, described the negative impact of climate change on fly fishing tourism in Slovenia and the uncertainty it creates, as well as mitigation activities in which anglers can be involved such as restoring riparian growth.
Regarding the marine environment, David Mitchell, Chair of the European Anglers Alliance’ Sea Subgroup, drew attention to some challenges and opportunities, focusing on the North Sea and shifting fish stocks distribution. He argued that further research into the impacts of climate change on fisheries and dependent communities should be funded by the EU and that the recreational fisheries sector needs recognition from the EU given its economic importance and potential jobs at stake when it comes to climate adaptation.
Click here to dowload the event report.
"Climate change is one of the direct drivers of biodiversity loss." – MEP Franc Bogovič
“If there is a high water temperature during an August afternoon, it is enough for all the fish to die.” – Marijan Govedič
“Involving anglers is key to ensure that policy-making is sound and logical. We need more anglers involved in river management.” – Igor Miličić
“Better data on stocks status will be necessary to pro-actively and effectively manage fisheries in the future.” – David Mitchell
“We know that anglers are a big part of the solution. Who else could do it if not the recreational fisheries sector?” – MEP Niclas Herbst