Working Group on Recreational Fisheries Surveys (WGRFS)

Type Article
Date 2021
Language English
Author(s) ICES
Contributor(s) Regimbart AmelieORCID, Baudrier JeromeORCID, Smith Niamh, Ropers Solène
Source ICES Scientific Reports/Rapports scientifiques du CIEM (2618-1371) (ICES), 2021 , Vol. 3 , N. 113 , P. 54pp.
DOI 10.17895/ices.pub.9673
Abstract

The ICES Working Group on Recreational Fisheries Surveys (WGRFS) role is to summarize and quality assure recreational fishery data collected in European countries and feed into the ICES advisory process on marine recreational fisheries (MRF) issues. In 2021, WGRFS met virtually to continue to work on many aspects of MRF including collation and review of national survey programmes; assessment of the validity of new approaches; provision of guidance on availabil-ity, quality and use of data; supporting regional data collection and storage; the human dimen-sion; and review of workshops organized by the group. The sessions focused on sharing infor-mation, assessing the quality of national survey programmes, development of the intersessional groups, and publication plans.

Information was shared on a number of different topics. First, new national survey programmes and new survey results were presented. Then perspectives on MRF were provided by the Euro-pean Commission and the European Angling Alliance. An update on the outcomes of the RCG intersessional group on Recreational Fisheries was given which included development species requirements for future MRF data collection. Methods for allocation of catches between recrea-tional and commercial fisheries from around the world were highlighted alongside potential ap-proaches that could be applied within Europe. Summaries of the outcomes from stock assess-ments of European sea bass and Western Baltic cod were presented, and the approach for MRF at the North Sea cod benchmark was shared. An update was provided on bycatch of Protected, Endangered and Threatened species (PETS) and the need for consideration of MRF identified. Finally, there was a discussion about improving links with diadromous species working groups.

Two national survey schemes were reviewed using the WGRFS Quality Assurance Tool: France and Uruguay. Issues were highlighted with existing designs and suggestions made for future improvements. The main focus of the meeting was to review, develop and progress the interses-sional groups (ISGs) as the WGRFS’ main mode of delivery. The ISGs cover governance; survey methods; quality assurance; regional coordination and data storage; catch and release and ani-mal welfare; stock assessment and reconstruction; novel methods; human dimensions; and com-munication and engagement. Each group is co-led by two members of the WGRFS with a work-plan including delivery goals. The discussions and outcomes are too diverse to be summarized here, instead details are provided in the text of the report.

The WGRFS has continued to deliver outcomes centred on: creating a broad network to share expertise; developing methods; raising the scientific profile; and providing the scientific evi-dence of inclusion in fisheries management. WGRFS has expanded the network beyond Europe to generate more collaborations and wider learning, with around 108 members from 30 coun-tries. The profile of the group has been raised at the international congress and through a presen-tation in the European Parliament. Two papers have been published and a further manuscript submitted that resulted from collaborations within the WGRFS. Finally, support has been pro-vided to STECF to review the outcomes of the MRF pilot studies, and MRF data compiled for the North Sea cod benchmark leading to the inclusion of provisional estimates of MRF on the advice sheet.

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