top of page
Search
  • dynamarteam

Fisher Participation in Angler Surveys

Recreational Fishers have been collecting data on billfish for the Southwest Fisheries Science Center’s Cooperative Billfish Tagging Program since the 1980s. In the Eastern Pacific, these fishers have submitted over 13,000 angler surveys with information about their fishing activity. Most of the reports for this region came from fishers in Mexico and the United States where access to fishing technology and a culture of fishing for fun has existed for decades. Despite the popularity of recreational fishing, participation in angler surveys and reported fishing activity has declined drastically since the 2000s.




Many recreational fishers are foreigners interested in catching the billfish species found in Central and South America. If fewer foreign fishers have been traveling to these regions, then declines in fishing activity and participation in angler surveys may be due to lower levels of international travel. This might have occurred if there were changes in the local political climates, the cost of international travel, or a major event such as the COVID-19 pandemic, which interrupted international travel for many years.


Another possible reason for these declines could be related to the health of the fishery and the likelihood of catching a billfish on a trip. Over the past couple of decades, changes in fishing policies and technological advancements may have led to an increase in the number of commercial longline and purse seine fisheries in these regions. These fisheries mainly target tunas and dorado, but often incidentally catch billfish, leaving fewer for the recreational fishery. If there are fewer fish, recreational fishers may not be as willing to go fishing as often for these fish, taking fewer trips offshore.



Figure 1. Average effort (days spent fishing for billfish per angler per year) for A) all records in ETP and B) distinguished by country where fishing occurred. *manuscript in progress


Decreases in angler surveys over time are to be expected. Survey fatigue is a common issue in survey data collection that occurs when survey participants lose interest in the survey and the quality of the data they provide declines. Despite the decline in participation in this survey, these types of surveys have been useful in informing the management of these species by helping us understand the behaviors and distribution of billfish populations worldwide.



Figure 2. Average effort (days spent fishing for billfish per angler per year) for A) all records in ETP and B) distinguished by country where fishing occurred. *manuscript in progress

2 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page