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Recreational fisheries – characterization, quantification and biological impact on natural resources

Sande, Hege


Recreational fishing is of high social and economic value worldwide, and participation is increasing at a global scale. The extent and biological effect of recreational fisheries have only recently been characterized on a limited number of targeted stocks in Europe. Several studies have shown that there is an effect of recreational fisheries on stock status in Europe and globally, and the importance of acknowledging this sector is increasingly conceded. In Sweden, recreational fishing is defined by the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management as any fishing without a professional licence, i.e. fishing for own consumption, recreation, tourism and for competition. Annual surveys have shown that at least 1.4 million Swedes participate in recreational fisheries at least once per year, and total catches have been estimated to about 18 380 t. The species most frequently caught in Swedish recreational fisheries are perch, pike, brown trout, crayfish, lobster, Zander, salmon, Atlantic mackerel, Atlantic herring, and cod. Recreational fisheries are covered in national as well as international management strategies for sustainable fisheries, in particular the common fisheries policy (CFP). The CFP concerns adopting a precautionary approach to fisheries management, and in support of this the EU Data Collection Framework was introduced in 2001. In accordance with this, member states are obliged to collect data on e.g. recreational fisheries for selected species defined under the DCF (EU, 2008) or EU-MAP (EU, 2016). The current knowledge on recreational fisheries in Sweden is largely based on combined postal surveys and follow-up by telephone conducted by Statistics Sweden (SCB) on behalf of HaV.

In this essay, the current knowledge on the Swedish recreational fisheries, available methods and key species is reviewed. Important research topics needing further examination, aiding the fulfilling the data collection obligations and increasing the overall understanding and knowledge of the Swedish recreational fisheries, are stated.


Recreational fisheries; western Baltic cod; Marine Recreational Fisheries Survey; sampling design; stock assessment

Publicerad i

Aqua introductory research essay
2020, nummer: 2020:1
eISBN: 978-91-576-9723-3
Utgivare: Department of Aquatic resources, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences