Kappel: Lack of angling representation is hampering fishing research
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The lack of strong and representative recreational fishing associations is hampering research and initiatives in the management of marine recreational fisheries (MRF) in southern Europe.
That is one of the conclusions reached in a paper on the research and management priorities for Atlantic MRF.
The scientific paper will be of interest to the tackle industry due to its implications for the future of sea fishing. It was produced by the first Workshop on Recreational Fishing on the Iberian Atlantic Coast.
The workshop was attended by experts including researchers, policy makers, fishery managers and commercial and recreational fishers who agreed on key priorities linked to MRF.
It identifies that effective communication between anglers, researchers and fisheries managers is lacking and MRF is hampered by insufficient interest from the funding and managing entities, which has resulted in a paucity of long-term scientific data.
“The lack of representative bodies and of funding are the main barriers for further progress as I see it,” said Jan Kappel, Secretary General of the European Anglers Association and EFTTA’s Public Affairs Officer. “The angling community is not as good a fundraiser as it could be in most countries. The EAA could have many more members if anglers nationally were better organised and money strong.
“In recent times the EU has committed significant funds for MRF. However, more attention is still needed from member states and regions of southern Europe.”
Despite highlighting the fact that there are nine million marine recreational fishermen generating €6 billion annually, the paper stresses the shortage of data and understanding of MRF in Europe, particularly in the southern countries, which is preventing fish stocks from being assessed and managed.
The report goes on to identify strategic recommendations and research priorities to address the knowledge gaps and guide the future management of MRF.
Read more about the work Jan Kappel is doing for the recreational fishing industry in Europe in the ‘Big Interview’ in the October issue of Angling International.