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Informing obligations: Best practice information for catch‐and‐release in Swedish local recreational fisheries management
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3672-0299
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8243-8924
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7731-7039
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2429-0906
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2023 (English)In: Fisheries Management and Ecology, ISSN 0969-997X, E-ISSN 1365-2400, Vol. 30, no 3, p. 310-322Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Catch-and-release (C&R) is a popular management tool that can support sustainable development of recreational fisheries, if anglers adopt scientifically informed “best practices.” However, although the role of best practices is widely established in the academic literature, this knowledge is not always disseminated to anglers. In this paper, we investigated if and to what extent local management organizations provided best practice information to anglers. Based on a sample of 331 Swedish organizations, we reviewed the websites through which these organizations sold fishing licenses. Our review demonstrated widespread use of C&R as a management tool yet a general lack of best practice information. Among the small fraction of organizations that mentioned best practices, most mentioned only a single practice, with little consistency among practices that received attention. In addition, best practice information was particularly lacking for pike (Esox Lucius) and perch (Perca fluviatilis), which are by far the most landed and released species nationally. We discovered major knowledge deficiencies that provide insights about where and how to focus efforts for improving best practice information, in the context of local recreational fisheries management.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2023. Vol. 30, no 3, p. 310-322
Keywords [en]
C&R science, hierarchical clustering, inland waters, institutional grammar, local management, mandatory C&R
National Category
Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-507503DOI: 10.1111/fme.12622ISI: 000961359800001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-507503DiVA, id: diva2:1780860
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2016-00227Swedish Research Council, 2016-00227Available from: 2023-07-06 Created: 2023-07-06 Last updated: 2024-01-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Casting for Knowledge and Landing Understanding: Exploring the management of Swedish recreational fisheries as social-ecological systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Casting for Knowledge and Landing Understanding: Exploring the management of Swedish recreational fisheries as social-ecological systems
2024 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The successful management of recreational fisheries must balance ecological, and social goals; select from and implement a range of management tools; operate under often complex governance structures; and contend with diverse human stakeholders’ expectations, desires, and actual behaviour in response to management activities. This complexity also means that there are many knowledge and research gaps regarding the information needed to meet the requirements of specific fisheries. This thesis explores Swedish recreational fisheries as social-ecological systems to help close these gaps, and improve their future management.

The sea trout (Salmo trutta) fishery around the island of Gotland provides context for investigating the human and ecological dimensions of catch-and-release (C&R), and stock level connections between angler expectations, catches, and spawning returns. This case study first identifies key motivations to retain or release sea trout of legal size, and factors anglers think are important for successful C&R. Then determines which angler-related, fish-related, or environmental factors impact stress levels and injuries for sea trout. Further, it identifies the potential for small changes in anglers harvest preferences to significantly impact mortality rates for an important segment of the spawning population. Taken together these outcomes identify knowledge and behavioural gaps that influence the successful application of C&R in this fishery, and that could affect the achievement of fishery management goals.

Several opportunities to improve the transfer of information between stakeholder groups in Swedish recreational fisheries are illuminated through an assessment of how best practices for C&R are communicated to anglers, and an evaluation of potential biases generated when collecting data through angler surveys. Communication from freshwater fishery managers to fishing license buyers is deficient in the quality and quantity of information on best practices for C&R. In addition, this is notably poorer for certain fisheries and target species that have very high rates of C&R. In the opposite direction, the collection of information from anglers is also challenging, as common sampling techniques and the grouping of survey responses in recreational fisheries can introduce significant biases that impact how data can be interpreted. These include psychological dimensions of fishing experiences that connect angler motivations and behaviours to fishery management structures.

This thesis contributes to the knowledge and discussion about sustainably managing recreational fisheries, but the methods to apply this information to existing governance structures and induce positive behavioural change in diverse populations of anglers require further development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2024. p. 73
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 2357
Keywords
Recreational Fisheries, Fisheries Management, Catch & Release, Social-ecological System, Angler Behaviour, Fish Behaviour, Fish Welfare, Stakeholder Engagement
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Natural Resources and Sustainable Development
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-520548 (URN)978-91-513-2011-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2024-03-01, E-22, Cramérgatan 3, Visby, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2024-02-06 Created: 2024-01-12 Last updated: 2024-02-06

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Björkvik, EmmaBlyth, SamuelBlicharska, MalgorzataDanley, BrianRönnbäck, Patrik

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