Recreational sea fishing - future data collection in EU

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24 Aug

ICES, the scientific fisheries advicer to the European Commission has been requested to provide advice on the data needs for monitoring of recreational fisheries. The advice has now been published.

ICES, the scientific fisheries advicer to the European Commission was requested to provide an advice on the data needs for monitoring of recreational fisheries. The ICES advice is published here.

The EAA's Subgroup Sea Angling has data collection on its agenda at its meeting 18 September. A scientist involved with recreational fishing data collection has been invited to the meeting.

It seems clear that the data collection with regard to recreational fisheries in EU will be more extensive and frequent in the future (for some species), which is a good thing. It is also very nice to see, that the advice concerns not only the quantities of the recreational catches but also the socio-economic value of recreational fishing. Cutting:

"2. What recreational fishery data (biological, economic & fisheries activity) are needed to support the scientific advice?
Where management plans or strategies require knowledge of the social and economic benefits of recreational fishing to communities, alongside the benefits from inshore commercial fisheries exploiting the same stocks, a common methodology is needed for all the fisheries, which will in turn define the types of data that must be collected."

Another good read having more about the future for recreational fishing data collection and management in EU is this recent article written by four scientists, who all are members of ICES' Working Group on Recreational Fisheries Surveys (WGRFS) - Kieran Hyder, Mike Armstrong, Keno Ferter and Harry V. Strehlow

"Recreational sea fishing – the high value forgotten catch" - cuttings from page 1 and 2:

"In a nutshell

  • Many millions of people throughout Europe participate in recreational sea fishing. Recent surveys show that for some species, recreational fishery harvests – the weight of fish removed from the sea – can be as large as some commercial fishing fleets, but have not been accounted for until recently in stock assessments.
  • Europe lags behind countries like the USA and Australia in collecting and using recreational fishery data. In the USA, nationwide recreational fishery surveys have been undertaken since the 1980s and recreational catch estimates are routinely incorporated into assessments to support co-management of many commercial and recreational fisheries.
  • In Europe, marine recreational fishery survey data are sparse and only a few stock assessments use these data to estimate recreational fishing mortality. This means we have poor understanding of marine recreational fishing impacts and how to account for them in management.
  • There are statutory requirements to report recreational catches of some marine species in Europe, but the surveys are demanding in terms of expertise and infrastructure, and vary between countries. ICES established its Working Group on Recreational Fisheries Surveys to help countries run statistically sound surveys and develop other supporting studies.
  • A large proportion of recreational catch is often released, so accurate estimates of post-release mortality are also required for stock assessment. Post-release mortality is difficult to measure and is dependent on many factors including capture depth, gear, and species. More studies are needed in this area.
  • Recent surveys in Europe show that recreational sea fishing has a high economic value. In addition to addressing conservation goals, future co-management of European fish stocks for recreational and commercial purposes should consider how to maximize the economic and social values of the different fisheries. New methods are required to address this."
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