The European seabass is not only an immensely popular species amongst anglers but also a significant contributor to the Dutch economy. According to a study conducted in 2020-2021, seabass angling has an important socio-economic impact in the Netherlands. Considering the number of marine anglers and their fishing trips, the annual Dutch seabass angling expenses amount to 169 million €.
The European seabass, popular among European anglers, is declining due to overfishing. EU conservation measures to address this issue impact marine anglers disproportionately. To better manage seabass, research on the socio-economic importance of marine seabass angling is essential. The study, commissioned by Dutch EAA member Sportvisserij Nederland, has been undertaken to assess this importance for the country. The study was carried out in two steps, the first in 2020 and the second in 2021.
In October 2020, a nationwide survey of more than 60,000 participants was undertaken, giving a picture of the age, gender, education, region and family size of angling participation in the Netherlands. 2,151 anglers aged 15 and above also provided information on fishing methods, fishing excursions, and expenses related to angling. In 2021, a follow-up study focused on sea anglers was launched, investigating spending and engagement in seabass fishing.
Picture credits: Sportvisserij Nederland
The results of the survey are full of interesting elements. The results show that participation in marine angling across the country (for those aged 6 and above) has remained fairly stable since 2009. In 2020, 43 % of anglers, equivalent to 202,000 individuals (aged 15 and above), caught seabass, with 50,500 of them targeting seabass frequently or often. The average expenses for a fishing trip amounted to 175.31 € per trip, with approximately 89 € of that spent on seabass fishing. Finally, considering the number of marine anglers and their trips, the annual expenses related to Dutch seabass angling total around 169 million €.
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