A Case Study about Engaging Recreational Fishers in Management and Conservation: Global
Abstract: Globally, the number of recreational fishers is sizeable and increasing in many countries. Associated with this trend is the potential for negative impacts on fish stocks through exploitation or management measures such as stocking and introduction of non-native fishes. Nevertheless, recreational fishers can be instrumental in successful fisheries conservation through active involvement in, or initiation of, conservation projects to reduce both direct and external stressors contributing to fishery declines. Understanding fishers’ concerns for sustained access to the resource and developing methods for their meaningful participation can have positive impacts on conservation efforts.
Introduction: Many of the world’s fish populations are in decline. In 2005 77% of the global fishery stocks of known status were either fully exploited (52%), overexploited (17%), depleted (7%), or recovering from depletion (1%; FAO 2006). These declines result from a complex set of processes that are internal and external to the fisheries. For instance, industrialized fishing in marine systems has led to dramatic declines in target stock biomass, alteration of community structure (Pauly et al. 1998; Myers & Worm 2003), and long-lasting effects on fisheries through habitat destruction (Dayton et al. 1995; Jennings & Kaiser 1998). Freshwater fishes are also heavily threatened on a global scale (Harrison & Stiassny 1999). Whereas their overexploitation has played a role, a host of important factors external to the fishery include habitat alteration or destruction (e.g., agriculture and hydropower), water pollution (e.g., eutrophication), flow modification (e.g., for flood control), and introduction and spread of alien species.
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