Recreational sea fishing in Europe in a global context-Participation rates, fishing effort, expenditure, and implications for monitoring and assessment

Marine recreational fishing (MRF) is a high-participation activity with large economic value and social benefits globally, and it impacts on some fish stocks. Although reporting MRF catches is a European Union legislative requirement, estimates are only available for some countries. Here, data on numbers of fishers, participation rates, days fished, expenditures, and catches of two widely targeted species were synthesized to provide European estimates of MRF and placed in the global context. Uncertainty assessment was not possible due to incomplete knowledge of error distributions; instead, a semi-quantitative bias assessment was made. There were an estimated 8.7 million European recreational sea fishers corresponding to a participation rate of 1.6%. An estimated 77.6 million days were fished, and expenditure was €5.9 billion annually. There were higher participation, numbers of fishers, days fished and expenditure in the Atlantic than the Mediterranean, but the Mediterranean estimates were generally less robust. Comparisons with other regions showed that European MRF participation rates and expenditure were in the mid-range, with higher participation in Oceania and the United States, higher expenditure in the United States, and lower participation and expenditure in South America and Africa. For both northern European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax, Moronidae) and western Baltic cod (Gadus morhua, Gadidae) stocks, MRF represented 27% of the total removals. This study highlights the importance of MRF and the need for bespoke, regular and statistically sound data collection to underpin European fisheries management. Solutions are proposed for future MRF data collection in Europe and other regions to support sustainable fisheries management.


European marine recreational fisheries, fisheries assessment and management, fishing effort and expenditure, participation, surveys and monitoring of marine recreational fisheries

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Hyder Kieran, Weltersbach Marc Simon, Armstrong Mike, Ferter Keno, Townhill Bryony, Ahvonen Anssi, Arlinghaus Robert, Baikov Andrei, Bellanger Manuel, Birzaks Janis, Borch Trude, Cambie Giulia, de Graaf Martin, Diogo Hugo M. C., Dziemian Lukasz, Gordoa Ana, Grzebielec Ryszard, Hartill Bruce, Kagervall Anders, Kapiris Kostas, Karlsson Martin, Kleiven Alf Ring, Lejk Adam M., Levrel Harold, Lovell Sabrina, Lyle Jeremy, Moilanen Pentti, Monkman Graham, Morales-Nin Beatriz, Mugerza Estanis, Martinez Roi, O'reilly Paul, Olesen Hans Jakob, Papadopoulos Anastasios, Pita Pablo, Radford Zachary, Radtke Krzysztof, Roche William, Rocklin Delphine, Ruiz Jon, Scougal Callum, Silvestri Roberto, Skov Christian, Steinback Scott, Sundelof Andreas, Svagzdys Arvydas, Turnbull David, van der Hammen Tessa, Van Voorhees David, Van Winsen Frankwin, Verleye Thomas, Veiga Pedro, Volstad Jon-Helge, Zarauz Lucia, Zolubas Tomas, Strehlow Harry V. (2018). Recreational sea fishing in Europe in a global context-Participation rates, fishing effort, expenditure, and implications for monitoring and assessment. Fish And Fisheries. 19 (2). 225-243.,

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