Recreational fisheries in the UK: natural capital, ecosystem services, threats, and management

Winfield, Ian J.. 2016 Recreational fisheries in the UK: natural capital, ecosystem services, threats, and management. Fisheries Science, 82 (2). 203-212.

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The island nature of the UK has led to its long history of commercial marine fisheries, with associated recreational fisheries along and near to its extensive shoreline. In addition, an abundance of fresh waters provides extensive recreational fisheries, but few commercial fisheries, on rivers and lakes where catch-and-release is prevalent. Here, an overview is presented of these fisheries by describing their main features using the concepts of natural capital and ecosystem services and then considering the threats that they face and the management that has been developed in response. In the marine environment, a wide range of fish species is targeted, but the Orders Gadiformes, Perciformes, and Pleuronectiformes are particularly important. Far fewer species are available for exploitation in fresh waters, but the Orders Cypriniformes, Perciformes, and Salmoniformes are fished extensively. In total, the UK has in excess of three million recreational anglers in a population of approximately 65 million people. Threats to UK recreational fisheries include overfishing, physical habitat modification, acidification, chemical pollution, eutrophication, endocrine disrupters, nanoparticles, species introductions, and climate change. Great scientific and management advances have been made such that most of the required aquatic biological management activities are now based on mature science and are in many cases now largely operational matters. In addition, the work of the UK statutory bodies for fisheries is increasingly supplemented by the efforts of more independent groups, including through citizen science. Ecosystem-based management is now commonplace and activities have expanded above and away from the water to include the management of anglers and other members of society. The UK’s recreational fisheries continue to face substantial challenges, but there are also substantial grounds for great optimism for their future.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Parr
ISSN: 0919-9268
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: angling, ecosystem services, England, environmental threats, fisheries management, fishing, Great Britain, natural capital, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 09 Feb 2016 11:54 +0 (UTC)

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