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EIFAC Code of Practice for Recreational Fisheries Phil Hickley EIFAC Chairman.

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Presentation on theme: "EIFAC Code of Practice for Recreational Fisheries Phil Hickley EIFAC Chairman."— Presentation transcript:

1 EIFAC Code of Practice for Recreational Fisheries Phil Hickley EIFAC Chairman

2 European Inland Fisheries Advisory Commission (EIFAC) EIFAC is a statutory body of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations Inter-governmental forum for collaboration and information exchange on inland fisheries and aquaculture among all European countries Organizations and agencies for inland fisheries periodically need to seek guidance EIFAC serves as a network Links policy-makers, managers and scientists working on inland fisheries and aquaculture issues Scientific work is undertaken in Working Parties by specialists from member countries

3 EIFAC Working Party Publications Recent example CoP Recreational Fisheries Working Party output Well received Being translated into many local languages

4 AIM of Code of Practice for Recreational Fisheries Provide code of practice that is acceptable to the recreational fisheries sector and society to: Promote sustainable recreational fisheries Recognise the ecological, social and economic dimensions Minimise conflicts with other aquatic resource user groups Respond proactively to fish welfare issues

5 Recreational Fisheries (1) Fisheries sector comprises commercial, subsistence and recreational fisheries Commercial activity has predominated in marine and inland capture fisheries In response to societal change, the importance of commercial capture fishing is decreasing Recreation is becoming the more important beneficiary of fish stocks

6 Recreational Fisheries (2) In most developed countries recreational fishing is now the principal form of exploitation Approximately a tenth of the population across all countries engages regularly in recreational fishing Provides social, economic and ecological benefit to society and harvests millions of fish on a global scale In international policy on the sustainable management of resources, recreational fisheries have been largely overlooked

7 Recreational Fisheries (3) Recreational fishing has been described as the ritual pursuit of pleasure Two principal components – –a fishing factor which includes the number and size of fish caught –a recreational factor which non ‑ catch components such as personal satisfaction Contributing to satisfaction are senses of freedom, excitement, relaxation, enjoyment of the natural setting Recreational fishing fulfils a valuable role in raising environmental awareness

8 Definitions FAO (1997) defined recreational fisheries as those in which fishing is conducted by individuals primarily for sport but with a possible secondary objective of capturing fish for domestic consumption but not for onward sale An improved definition is: Recreational fisheries are those where fishing is conducted during times subjectively defined by the individual as being leisure and for aquatic animals that do not constitute the individual’s primary resource to meet nutritional (physiological) needs The recreational fisheries sector is the entire network of stakeholders

9 Fishing methods Catching fish as a leisure activity Any form of fishing gear can be used Hook and line, gill nets, spears, bow-fishing and various types of trap Globally, angling with a rod and line is by far the most common Recreational fishing is often assumed to be synonymous with angling

10 Status Europe - 25 million anglers, representing 6.5% of the EU population USA - 30 million anglers, half a billion fishing days Australia million anglers, 19.5% of the population

11 Economic value USA - anglers generate $45 billion ($900 angler -1 ) in retail sales annually; overall economic impact is $125 billion and over 1 million jobs Europe - annual expenditure by anglers is €25 billion (€1000 angler -1 ) Australia – annual expenditure on recreational fishing is As$1.8 billion, As$552 fisher -1 England and Wales - if angling ceased, £130 million ($250 m) in household income and 5,000 jobs would be lost

12 Management (1) The basic fisheries resource needs to be managed to optimise the social and economic benefits from its sustainable exploitation The resource comprises not just fish stocks but their habitat and all the economic and social features of the fisheries which the stocks support Two important human and non-human components: improving the quality of life and enhancing wildlife

13 Management (2) An ecosystem approach to recreational fisheries management should be adopted wherever feasible The ecosystem approach strives to balance diverse societal objectives, by taking into account the knowledge and uncertainties about biotic, abiotic and human components of ecosystems, and their interactions

14 Sector responsibilities (1) promote high quality recreational fishing experiences within the limits set by ecology, economics and society adopt measures for the long term conservation and sustainable use of recreational fisheries resources adopt the ecosystem approach as the guiding philosophy and exercise the precautionary principle

15 Sector responsibilities (2) identify all relevant parties having a legitimate interest in the recreational fisheries resource and engage them in the management process base recreational fisheries management action on pre-defined management objectives, formulated as a recreational fisheries management plan consider all environmental, economic and social values and impacts in the appraisal of management measures

16 Issues for the future (1) Participation - necessary to understand types of anglers Conflicts between users - Horizontal conflicts between potential users, vertical conflicts between authorities and users Stocking - meeting the needs of environment and fishers can mean conflicting demands Non-native species - detrimental effects from the stocking of non-native fish for recreation Fishery collapse and sustainability - recreational fishing sector also has potential to negatively affect fish and fisheries Urban fisheries - access and opportunity

17 Issues for the future (2) Fish welfare - an important aspect of recreational fisheries participation and management. Public attitudes to angling - public influence is having increasing impacts in different countries and public acceptance of recreational fishing is important Catch and release - a continuum from mandatory release of protected sizes and species to voluntary catch-and-release of non-protected fish Education - to help strengthen the sector for the benefit of fish, the environment and those that enjoy recreational fishing.

18 Codes of Practice Voluntary codes of practice existed in some countries and organisations Behavioural, conservation and fish welfare recommendations appeared in leaflets and guidebooks, produced either by the authorities or angling associations Australia introduced a national code of practice as a joint initiative between the authorities and the fourteen national and state fishing associations Perceived need for more international agreement on good practice Facilitated by EIFAC a new international Code of Practice for Recreational Fisheries was developed

19 EIFAC CoP for Recreational Fisheries (1) FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries - Users of living and aquatic resources should conserve aquatic ecosystems and that the right to fish carries with it the obligation to do so in a responsible manner so as to ensure effective conservation and management of the living aquatic resources. EIFAC Code of Practice for Recreational Fisheries - to establish best practice principles among nations for responsible management and fishing practices, taking into account all relevant biological, technological, economic, social, cultural and environmental aspects.

20 EIFAC CoP for Recreational Fisheries (2) Has to fit alongside national legislation and regional best practice guidelines Designed to prescribe the minimum standards for environmentally friendly, ethically appropriate and socially acceptable recreational fishing Works from assumption that recreational fisheries provide a vital source of recreation, employment, food and social and economic well-being for people throughout the world, both for present and future generations. Acknowledges that recreational fishing and its associated social, cultural, psychological and physiological benefits provide quality of life for its participants

21 EIFAC CoP for Recreational Fisheries (3) To continue being viable, recreational fishing must minimize its ecological impacts and harmonize stakeholder interactions whilst delivering maximum benefits to the sector. The EIFAC Code of Practice for Recreational Fisheries should facilitate this but it has no formal legal status; it is a voluntary instrument.

22 The Role of a Global Code of Practice Code of Practice

23 The challenge is to achieve successful implementation!

24 EIFAC Code of Practice for Recreational Fisheries Phil Hickley EIFAC Chairman


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