Journal Article

The recreational fishery off Majorca Island (western Mediterranean): some implications for coastal resource management

Beatriz Morales-Nin, Joan Moranta, Cristina García, María Pilar Tugores, Antoni Maria Grau, Francisco Riera and Margalida Cerdà

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 62, issue 4, pages 727-739
Published in print January 2005 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2005 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.icesjms.2005.01.022
The recreational fishery off Majorca Island (western Mediterranean): some implications for coastal resource management

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The sociology and habits of recreational anglers on the Island of Majorca (western Mediterranean) were evaluated using telephone and on-site surveys, as well as fishing logbooks and recreational fishing competitions. The recreational fishery is one of the island's main leisure activities, 5.14% of the population (37 265 people) participating. Enthusiasts tend to be mainly middle class (most anglers own boats moored at marinas), middle-aged males (90% male, mean age 46 ± 2 years). The most popular fishing method is from a boat (62.9%), followed by fishing from shore (32.4%), and spearfishing (3.6%). The mean time spent fishing is 3.86 ± 0.03 h d−1, and more than one type of gear (mean 1.27 ± 0.21) is used simultaneously by a single angler. The frequency of fishing is 4–6 times per month, mainly on holidays and weekends, increasing in summer. The activity has a sizeable impact on the coastal fauna, with diverse catches of at least 1209.25 t year−1 (about 615 000 fishing outings year−1). Thus, the amount of carbon extracted annually is at least 137.34 kg C km−2 year−1, and the recreational fishery removes about 31% of production at trophic level 4. Although these are gross estimates and more detailed study of the effect on trophic level and local production is needed, the values do highlight the pressure the recreational fishery exerts on coastal fish communities. Assuming that this level of exploitation is common to north-shore Mediterranean countries, there may be cause for concern about sustainable exploitation in the recreational fishery, and the effectiveness of current protection measures is discussed. Despite the limitations of the study, recreational fisheries clearly should be taken into account when considering measures for fisheries management. Moreover, fishing has considerable social import, and the benefits must be taken into account when investments to protect exploited resources are being contemplated.

Keywords: coastal zone; fish exploitation; Majorca Island; recreational fishing; western Mediterranean

Journal Article.  6983 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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