Impacts of recreational fishing in Australia: historical declines, self-regulation and evidence of an early warning system

Young, Matthew A.L., Foale, Simon, and Bellwood, David R. (2014) Impacts of recreational fishing in Australia: historical declines, self-regulation and evidence of an early warning system. Environmental Conservation, 41 (4). pp. 350-356.

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Abstract

Overfishing is a mounting threat to marine ecosystems and food security worldwide. Recreational fisheries are poorly understood and pose governance challenges due to the scarcity of monitoring data. The impact of recreational spearfishing on eastern blue groper (Achoerodus viridis) and grey nurse shark (Carcharias taurus) in Australia was analysed by assessing a chronology of spearfishing publications for historical, ecological and social data. Reported captures of blue groper declined by 90% from 1952–1967. Grey nurse shark captures also declined. Interestingly, early warnings of declines for both species emerged from the spearfishing community 17 and 19 years, respectively, before protection. While recreational fishers may have serious impacts on vulnerable fish species, they could also play a vital role in conservation and advocacy. This highlights the importance of reciprocal communication between fishers, scientists and governments for managing and detecting declines in vulnerable species.

Item ID: 38243
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1469-4387
Keywords: blue groper, fisheries management, grey nurse shark, historical marine ecology, recreational fishing,self-regulation, shifting baselines, spearfishing
Funders: Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (ARC CoE Coral Reef Studies)
Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2015 01:40
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 100%
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