Kalervo Salojärvi and Hannu Lehtonen
Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute, Fisheries Division, P.O. Box 193, SF-00131 Helsinki 13, Finland
Subsistence fishing has traditionally had a strong position in the fisheries in Finland due to the privately owned fishing waters. Recreational fishing is a rather new development. The number of subsistence and recreational fishermen was in 1975 at least 800 000 persons, but probably it exceeds 1 million if we take into consideration those fishermen who don't need any fishing card (summer anglers with natural bait and persons under 16 years old). About 80% of all fishermen fished in 1975 for recreation. The corresponding figure in 1970 was 68%. Summer angling is the most common type of fishing even though the number of different kinds of nets is higher. The number of trap nets has decreased. The number of gill nets has slightly increased from 1970 to 1978 and the number of wire traps has remained on the same level. The average annual freshwater catch of the non-professional fishery for the period 1959–1977 is 14 943 ton. In 1978 the catch was 24 410 ton. The catch has varied between 12 205 and 24 410 ton being 63–88% of the total freshwater catch. The catch of the subsistence and recreational fishery in the sea has increased slightly in the same period varying from 1 643 ton/year being 6,7–10,7% of the total Finnish sea catch. Total number of fishing days spent for subsistence and recreational fisheries in 1975 was about 14,5 million. The average number of fishing days per one fisherman was 18,6 days. Fishing days/unit area varied greatly in different parts of the country being 1,9–12,7 days/ha. The catch kg/fishing day was on an average 1,47 kg per fisherman varying in statistical areas between 1,2 and 1,8 kg and in the statistical sea areas between 1,9 and 2,4 kg. Fishing expenditures of subsistence and recreational fisheries were in 1978 about 242 million Fmk (1 US $ = c. 4 Fmk).
La pêche de subsistance a traditionnellement occupé une place importante dans les pêcheries en Finlande, en raison de l'appartenance des eaux de pêche à des propriétaires privés. La pêche de loisir est une activité relativement récente. Le nombre de pêcheurs de subsistance et de loisir s'élevait en 1975 à au moins 800 000 personnes, mais il excède probablement 1 million si l'on tient compte des pêcheurs qui n'ont pas besoin d'un permis de pêche (pêcheurs à la ligne durant l'été au moyen d'appâts naturels et personnes en-dessous de 16 ans). Environ 80% de tous les pêcheurs en 1975 pêchaient pour leurs loisirs. Le chiffre correspondant en 1970 était 68%. La pêche à la ligne pendant l'été est la technique de pêche la plus commune bien que le nombre de différents types de filets utilisés soit élevé. De 1970 à 1978 le nombre de verveux a diminué, celui de filet maillant a légèrement augmenté et le nombre de verveux métalliques est resté constant. La moyenne annuelle des captures de la pêche non-professionnelle en eau douce pour la période 1959–1977 est de 14 943 tonnes. Les captures ont varié entre 12 205 et 24 410 tonnes, soit 63–68% des captures totales en eau douce. En 1978 les captures se sont élevées à 24 410 tonnes. Les captures de la pêche de subsistance et de loisir en eau de mer ont augmenté légèrement durant la même période variant autour de 1 643 tonnes/an, soit 6,7–10,7% des captures finlandaises totales en eau de mer. Le nombre total de jours de pêche consacrés aux pêches de subsistance et de loisir en 1975 s'élevait à environ 14,5 millions. Le nombre moyen de jours de pêche par pêcheur était de 18,6 jours. Les jours de pêche/unité de superficie ont varié fortement entre les différentes parties du pays, soit 1,9–12,7 jours/ha. La capture en kg/jour de pêche était en moyenne de 1,47 kg par pêcheur, variant entre 1,2 et 1,8 kg selon les différentes zones statistiques et entre 1,9 et 2,4 kg dans les zones statistiques en eau de mer. Les dépenses consacrées à la pêche de subsistance et de loisir se sont élevées en 1978 à environ 242 millions Fmk (1 US $ = ca. 4 Fmk).
During the settlement history of Finland the aim was to establish self-supporting households. Most farms have fields and forest as well as fishing rights to waters owned jointly by the landowners of a village. The fishing rights depend on the size of the farm (Munne 1982). Consequently subsistence fisheries have traditionally had a strong position in Finland and specialized professional fisheries are practically non-existent in inland water areas. At present, the catch of the professional inland fisheries is no more than about 10% of the total freshwater catch and most of the professional fishermen are farmers as well.
Fig. 1. The statistical areas used by the Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute in 1975.
Fig. 3. The number of non-professional fishermen in the statistical areas in 1975. White sector = fishing for domestic needs; black sector = fishing for recreation.
Fig. 2. The number of fishing cards (general fishing license) sold in 1952–1977.
Table 1. The percentage frequency of different kinds of gear among subsistence and recreational fishermen in 1975.
|Gear||% of fishermen|
|Rods (summer angling)||73,5|
|Spinning rods and lures||72,3|
|Ice fishing rods||66,7|
|Vendace gill nets||13,3|
|Different kinds of hooks||5.7|
|Baltic herring gill nets||1,9|
|Salmon gill nets||0,8|
|Salmon long lines||0,4|
Finnish fisheries have been strongly affected by the rapid urban development and the increase of modern industry in Finland during the last few decades. The number of Finnish people who earned their living from agriculture and forestry decreased from 54% in 1940 to 18% in 1970 (Pihkala 1977), and migration to the towns and cities depopulated the countryside. During the same period the number of recreational fishermen who own no fishing waters or fishing rights to jointly owned fishing waters increased considerably. Problems for fishing have been caused by these trends and also by pollution, hydro-power plant construction, regulation of lake water levels, etc. These changing conditions have raised the question of the proper allocation of fishery resources (Ollikainen 1971). The aims should be to ensure fishing facilities for the increasing number of recreational fishermen, to strengthen the traditional subsistence fisheries and to increase professional fisheries.
Table 2. The numbers of nets, rods, lines, etc., owned in the different statistical areas (thousands) in 1975.
|Fishing gear||Statistical area (Fig. 1)|
|Baltic herring gill nets||7||-||1||0||2||1||4||15|
|Vendace gill nets||16||52||22||13||8||23||22||156|
|Salmon gill nets||2||3||2||0||2||0||2||11|
|Other gill nets||233||251||117||82||128||83||132||1 026|
|Hooks on long lines||1 561||953||739||699||231||209||243||4 635|
|Different kinds of hooks||68||46||29||27||21||27||48||266|
|Spinning rods and lures||195||88||56||85||42||35||79||580|
|Rods (summer angling)||249||146||99||108||66||39||53||760|
|Ice fishing rods||162||128||89||98||36||39||63||615|
Table 3. The average numbers of nets, rods, lines, etc., per household in the different statistical areas in 1975.
|Fishing gear||Statistical area (Fig. 1)|
|Vendace gill nets||0,11||0,62||0,42||0,21||0,22||1,00||0,68||0,37|
|Baltic herring gill nets||0,05||-||0,01||0,00||0,05||0,03||0,13||0,04|
|Salmon gill nets||0,01||0,03||0,04||0,00||0,05||0,02||0,05||0,03|
|Other gill nets||1,67||3,03||2,19||1,40||3,60||3,55||4,02||2,41|
|Hooks on long lines||11,18||11,49||13,86||11,88||6,50||8,95||7,41||10,89|
|Different kinds of hooks||0,49||0,55||0,54||0,45||0,58||1,15||1,46||0,62|
|Spinning rods and lures||1,40||1,06||1,05||1,44||1,17||1,52||2,41||1,36|
|Rods (summer angling)||1,79||1,76||1,85||1,84||1,86||1,67||1,62||1,79|
|Ice fishing rods||1,16||1,54||1,68||1,67||1,01||1,69||1,91||1,45|
MATERIAL AND METHODS
The paper by Lehtonen and Salojärvi (1978) has formed the basis for the present article, together with the annual catch statistics (1953–1978) and unpublished data concerning the quantities of gear and the number of recreational fishermen in 1970 and 1971. Some recent data concerning the non-professional fishery in 1978 have been included, too. Statistical areas are shown in Fig. 1.
The statistics on subsistence and recreational fishing in Finland 1975 and 1978 have been collected by the Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute, Fisheries Division, using questionnaires mailed to 10 053 such households who had bought a general fishing license (concerning fishing in 1975) in the beginning of 1976 and to 20 000 households (concerning fishing in 1978) in the beginning of 1979. The total number of general fishing licenses purchased are given in Fig. 2.
Table 4. Total numbers of trap nets, gill nets and traps owned by subsistence and recreational fishermen in 1970, 1971 and 1975 in Finland.
|Trap nets||66 089||56 660||38 000|
|Gill nets||909 483||957 108||1 208 000|
|Traps||509 547||541 176||517 000|
NUMBER OF SUBSISTENCE AND RECREATIONAL FISHERMEN
In Finland every household fishing for domestic needs or for recreation (except persons under 16 years old and anglers with natural bait) must obtain a general fishing license (fishing card). The number of fishing cards purchased has increased from about 200 000 in 1952 to nearly 500 000 in 1978 (Fig. 2). This increase has been caused by a decrease in the average size of the families, with a concomitant increase in the number of households, more effective inspection and measures taken to facilitate the purchase of the fishing cards.
In 1975 the subsistence and recreational fishermen in Finland numbered at least 800 000. Most of them were living in southern and central Finland (Fig. 3). If we take into consideration those fishermen who do not need a fishing card (see Munne 1982), the number of all the persons fishing probably exceeds a million. According to another study (Anon. 1974), there are occasionally nearly 2 million subsistence and recreational fishermen in Finland. From the number of fishing cards purchased, the number of households and data on the average size of the families, we can conclude that the total number of subsistence and recreational fishermen has not increased greatly from the 1950's to the 1970's.
Fig. 4. Catch of subsistence and recreational fishermen for the period 1953–1977 in inland waters and the Baltic Sea.
Table 5. Catches by non-professional fishermen (in tons) in different statistical areas in 1975 (Fig. 1).
|Species||Baltic Sea||Lakes and rivers||Total|
|Baltic herring—Culpea harengus L.||80||31||63||262||436||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||436|
|Sprat—Clupea sprattus L.||7||-||-||42||49||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||49|
|Cod—Gadus morhua L.||34||10||1||137||182||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||182|
|Flounder—Platichthys flesus L.||73||17||1||40||131||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||131|
|Salmon—Salmo salar L.||3||5||9||27||44||-||-||-||-||-||-||50||50||94|
|Trout—Salmo truttea L.||0||6||31||17||54||6||47||33||14||5||13||109||227||281|
|Whitefish—Coregonus lavaretus L.||33||99||378||57||567||16||171||88||19||23||64||317||698||1 265|
|Vendace—Coregonus albula L.||-||0||25||2||27||14||498||201||40||80||124||207||1 164||1 191|
|Smelt—Osmerus eperlanus L.||3||8||4||6||21||1||8||5||16||1||2||-||33||54|
|Bream—Abramis brama L.||140||64||8||180||392||167||467||264||317||88||16||19||1 338||1 730|
|Ide—Leuciscus idus L.||35||66||22||30||153||15||74||15||33||6||15||44||202||355|
|Pike—Esox lucius L.||494||293||132||497||1 376||366||1 378||720||625||352||305||559||4 305||5 681|
|Perch—Perca fluviatilis L.||557||579||255||584||1 975||391||1 701||973||688||288||385||448||4 874||6 849|
|Pike-perch—Stizostedion lucioperca L.||86||21||0||121||228||78||81||24||79||2||3||1||268||496|
|Burbot—Lota lota L.||47||29||49||70||195||42||307||183||117||55||114||144||962||1 157|
|Eel—Anguilla anguilla L.||2||2||-||10||14||12||3||6||24||0||0||0||45||59|
|Grayling—Thymallus thymallus L.||-||0||8||0||8||1||6||1||-||0||3||113||124||132|
|Roach—Rutilus rutilus L.||98||276||113||195||682||176||796||494||265||148||165||267||2 311||2 993|
|Total||1 714||1 519||1 106||2 252||6 591||1 328||5 549||3 018||2 301||1 059||1 210||2 255||16 726||23 317|
Munne (1982) has put forward some general criteria for distinguishing between subsistence and recreational fishermen, but in practice they are very difficult to separate. According to answers to questionnaires, in 1975 about 80% of all the fishermen were fishing for recreation. In 1970 the corresponding figure was 68%. The proportion of recreational fishermen differs among the statistical areas (Fig. 3) being highest on the southern coast (statistical area 1) and lowest in the water system drained by the Vuoksi (statistical area 2). The number of subsistence fishermen was much higher earlier. Immediately after World War II and even in the 1950's most of fishermen fished for household needs. Urbanization, increased leisure time and the higher standard of living are the main reasons for the increase in the number of recreational fishermen.
The percentage frequency of different kinds of gear among subsistence and recreational fishermen in 1975 is presented in Table 1, the numbers of gill nets, rods, long lines, etc., in the different statistical areas in Table 2 and the average numbers of gill nets, rods, long lines, etc., per household in the different areas in Table 3.
Fig. 5. The catch by non-professional fishermen in thousands of tons in 1975.
Table 6. The catch distribution with respect to different types of fishing gear in 1978 (per cent).
|Species||Gill net||Wire trap and trap net||Hooks and longline||Winter angling rods||Other rods||Other gear|
Summer angling is the most common type of fishing, although the number of various kinds of nets is higher than the number of rods. No fishing card is needed for summer angling with natural bait and for this reason the number of rods is probably underestimated.
The number of trap nets has decreased considerably from 1970 to 1975. The number of gill nets reveals a slight increase from 1970 to 1975 and the number of traps has remained on the same level (Table 4). The trends in the numbers of the other types of gear are unknown.
Fig. 6. Catches by non-professional fishermen of Baltic herring, vendace, whitefish, pike, trout, bream, ide, roach, perch, pike-perch, burbot, cod, flounder, and other fish in the statistical areas in 1975 (tons).
In the freshwater areas no clear upward or downward trend can be discerned in the catch of the subsistence and recreational fisheries since 1959, except that the level of catches of the period 1964–1974 is smaller (Fig. 4). The annual freshwater catch for the period 1959–1977 averaged 14 943 tons, and varied between 12 205 tons (1965) and 18 070 tons (1962), constituting 63–88% of the total freshwater catch in the same period. The low catch in 1953 (Fig. 4) was due to the post-war conditions. At the time it was more common to fish for professional or for household needs.
In 1975 the greater part of the non-professional catch was harvested in the Finnish lake area (statistical areas, 2, 3 and 4 in Fig. 1) (Fig. 5, Table 5). Some minor differences exist between the statistical areas in the species composition of the catch. In 1975 practically all the pike-perch and bream were harvested in the southern part of Finland. The most abundant whitefish and brown trout stocks were located in northern Finland (Fig. 6, Table 5). The proportion of predators (%) in the catch in the different statistical areas was similar, probably because similar gear was used (see Table 2).
Fig. 7. Distribution of fishing days in 1975 by statistical areas. White sector = fishermen resident in other statistical areas.
In the brackish water areas the catch of the subsistence and recreational fishery has increased slowly from 1953 to 1977 (Fig. 4), the annual catch varying between 1 643 (1953) and 7 764 (1968) tons. Thus the catch of the subsistence and recreational fishery in the sea area is quite small compared with the non-professional inland fishery.
In 1975 the catch/unit area (kg/ha) of subsistence and recreational fishery in the inland statistical areas was as follows:
|Statistical area||Catch kg/ha|
In the brackish water areas similar estimates cannot be made, because it is difficult to define the areas where fishing takes place.
Fig. 8. The number of fishing days by months in 1975.
Fig. 9. Numbers of fishing days in 1975 (in thousands) spent by non-professional fishermen in area of residence (number in rectangle) and in other statistical areas (numbers in circles).
The greater part of the total non-professional catch is taken with gill nets (54,3%), but the proportions caught in this way vary greatly between species (Table 6).
In 1975 the total number of fishing days used for the subsistence and recreational fisheries was 14,5 million. Most of the fishing days were spent in the fresh water areas (80%). About 30% of the days were spent outside the area of residence of the fishermen (Fig. 7). The average number of fishing days per fisherman was 18,6, the number being lowest in the densely populated statistical area 1 (the southern coast).
Summer fishing is more popular than ice fishing (Fig. 8), owing to the fact that the period May-August is the holiday season in Finland. Many people spend their vacation in summer houses or travel, for example, to North Finland for fishing. This can be seen in Fig. 9. North Finland is specially attractive to sport fishermen, due to the large state-owned water areas and the quality of the fish stocks (char, salmon, brown trout, grayling).
The number of fishing days/unit area varies greatly between the statistical areas. The decisive factors are the density of the population and the size of the area required per fisherman. In 1975 the fishing days/ha in the freshwater statistical areas were:
|Statistical area||Fishing days/ha|
Table 7. Catches (kg/1 000 fishing days) in the different statistical areas in 1975 (Fig. 1).
|Species||Baltic Sea||Lakes and rivers|
|Total||2 279||1 948||2 354||1 981||2 100||1 195||1 574||1 309||1 225||1 758||1 688||1 823||1 471|
Table 8. Value of catch by subsistence and recreational fishermen (1 000 Fmk) in the different statistical areas in 1975, calculated according to the average price of the fish sold by commercial fishermen (1 US $ = c. 4 Fmk).
|Species||Baltic Sea||Lakes and rivers||Grand total|
|Salmon||62||103||185||556||906||-||-||-||-||-||1 256||1 256||2 162|
|Trout||-||106||547||300||953||78||629||451||193||66||175||1 467||3 059||4 012|
|Whitefish||173||520||1 985||299||2 977||97||1 034||535||115||137||391||1 922||4 230||7 207|
|Vendace||-||-||52||4||56||52||1 812||733||146||291||450||755||4 239||4 295|
|Bream||430||196||25||553||1 203||788||2 202||1 246||1 497||416||75||92||6 315||7 519|
|Pike||2 001||1 187||537||2 023||5 747||1 957||7 372||3 853||3 343||1 882||1 633||2 988||23 028||28 775|
|Perch||891||926||408||934||3 160||942||4 099||2 345||1 657||694||927||1 079||11 744||14 904|
|Pike-perch||444||108||-||624||1 176||539||558||162||545||11||19||10||1 844||3 020|
|Burbot||228||141||238||340||948||210||1 543||919||587||275||573||725||4 833||5 780|
|Grayling||-||-||80||-||80||11||56||12||-||3||29||1 127||1 238||1 318|
|Roach||70||196||80||138||484||257||1 162||721||386||217||241||390||3 374||3 858|
|Total||4 674||3 369||4 221||6 415||19 009||5 157||20 740||11 105||8 923||4 029||4 561||11 982||66 497||85 506|
According to Frilander (1975), country people fish more often and for longer periods than people from towns. From 1950 to 1970 the rural population decreased by about 50% (Pihkala 1977). As it was concluded earlier in this paper that the number of non-professional fishermen has not increased markedly since the 1950s, we may assume that the number of fishing days has not changed greatly during the last few decades. This conclusion is supported by the catch data for the years 1953–1977 (Fig. 4).
Reliable data on the catch per unit fishing effort (cpue) are difficult to obtain for subsistence and recreational fishing. Circumstances such as the many kinds of gear used, the multi-species composition of the catch, the great number of fishermen, the small catch per fisherman, etc., make it impossible to get as sophisticated cpue statistics as for the commercial fishery. A value for the total fishing effort can be obtained by dividing the catch by the number of fishing days spent in non-professional fishing. As this value is not strictly scientific in nature, it is here called the “fishing success.”
Fig. 10. Dependence of catch/unit area (kg/ha) on fishing effort/unit area (fishing days/ha). The curves A and B (drawn by hand) are two possible patterns of the real relationship of these two factors.
The species composition of the catch in the different statistical areas is fairly similar, especially the ratio of predators to non-predators and the catch is harvested with similar kinds of gear. Consequently, the fishing success data of the different statistical areas (Table 7) are roughly comparable. Some correlations are evident. Fishing success decreases as fishing (days)/unit area increases (r = 0,66), and catch/unit area increases with the number of fishing days/unit area (r = 0,97+++) (Fig. 10). The linearity of the latter correlation must be false, because catch/unit area against fishing effort/unit area cannot increase continuously linearly. Some possible patterns of the curve are presented in Fig. 10. As is evident from this figure the many unknown factors involved make it impossible to determine the extent to which subsistence and recreational fishing can be increased, but we can conclude that there is some general possibility of increasing the inland catch in Finland. Although it would be possible to increase the total catch, this increase generally concerns only some less valuable fish species, such as roach, smelt, etc. Studies on the maximum sustainable yield in Finland are few, but in the river system of the Oulujoki, for example, investigations have shown that the exploitation of roach, perch and vendace can be increased, whereas the fishing of whitefish and pike has already reached the maximum level (Salojärvi et al. 1978). Similarly the pike-perch off Helsinki has been shown to be overexploited (Lehtonen 1979).
ECONOMIC VALUE OF SUBSISTENCE AND RECREATIONAL FISHERY
If the economic value of the catch of subsistence and recreational fishery is calculated according to the value of the commercial catch, the total value of the catch of the Finnish fishery was worth 188 million Fmk of which the value of the catch of the subsistence and recreational fisheries was 85,5 million Fmk (1 US $ = c. 4 Fmk) (Table 8). However, as recreational fishermen do not fish primarily for the sake of the catch, it is not correct to evaluate its economic importance on the same basis as that of the commercial catch. According to retail prices the value of the non-professional catch was about 130 million Fmk. A possible basis for assessing the economic value of subsistence and recreational fishing is the expenditure on fishing. According to answers to questionnaires, in 1975 subsistence and recreational fishermen spent about 144 million Fmk on their fishing. This sum exceeds the value of the commercial catch (103,4 million Fmk). The average amount spent by a non-professional fisherman in his fishing in 1975 was about 180 Fmk (including travelling, accommodation, fuel expenses, fishing equipment, fishing permits, etc.).
Anon. 1974 Omnibustutkimus kalastusfrekvenssistä. Makrotest 13 pp. Mimeo.
Frilander, N. 1975 Vapaa-ajankalastuksen piirteitä Keski-Suomessa. Kalamies, 4(3) and 5(4).
Lehtonen, H. 1979 Stock assessment of pike-perch (Stizostedion lucioperca L.) in the Helsinki sea area. Finnish Fish. Res., 3:1–12.
Lehtonen, H., and K. Salojärvi. 1978 Kotitarve-ja virkistyskalastus Suomessa vuonna 1975 (Amateur fishing in Finland in 1975). Suomen kalatalous, 48:41–55.
Munne, P. 1982 Country review, Finland. EIFAC International Symposium on Fishery Resources Allocation, Vichy, France 20–24.4. 1980. (This Symposium.)
Ollikainen, M. 1971 Kuinka paljon kalastusharrastus vaatii matkustamista. Kalamies, 4(8).
Pihkala, E. 1977 Suomen talouselämä 1917–77. Mitä, missä, milloin vuosikirja 1978, Helsinki, pp. 158–160.
Salojärvi, K., H. Auvinen and E. Ikonen. 1978 Oulujoen vesistön kalataloussuunnitelma. 282 pp. Mimeo.
Ronald L. Schmied
Recreational Development Services Branch, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, United States Department of Commerce, St. Petersburg, Florida 33702 USA
Marine recreational fishing in the U.S. is an activity of growing significance in terms of its popularity, economic impacts and consequence to marine fishery resources. Between 1955 and 1975, participation in saltwater sport fishing increased 260% and associated expenditures grew sevenfold. However, in spite of their increased significance, it has only been in recent years that the full value and potential of marine recreational fisheries were nationally recognized. Pursuant to the Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976, it is now a national policy to promote marine recreational fisheries to ensure U.S. citizens benefit fully from resultant employment, food supply, revenue and recreational opportunities. Available data indicate that the Southeastern Region of the U.S. is by far the most important as far as marine recreational fishing participation, catch and economic activity are concerned. Consequently, the National Marine Fisheries Service has initiated efforts to promote and develop Southeastern saltwater sport fisheries. This paper provides a description of the region's recreational fisheries, identifies and discusses problems which must be overcome in order to promote these fisheries and outlines planned and ongoing efforts of the National Marine Fisheries Service to develop marine recreational fisheries in the Southeastern U.S.
La pêche récréative en mer dans l'Atlantique Sud, dans le Golfe du Mexique et dans la zone américaine des Caraïbes (région sud-est) est une activité de plus en plus notable par sa popularité, son importance économique et ses effets sur les ressources en poisson. En 1975, on a estimé que 8,5 millions de pêcheurs ont capturé près de 353 millions de livres de poissons proprement dits et 104 millions de livres de mollusques et de crustacés (poids vif). La production en valeur de cette activité récréative a atteint 1,2 milliards de dollars et elle a employé plus de 25 620 années/hommes au cours de la même année. L'adoption de la loi sur la conservation et l'aménagement des pêches par le Congrès des États-Unis, en 1976, a suscité un regain d'intérêt envers les pêches maritimes du pays et, ce qui est plus important, a donné à la pêche récréative en mer une prééminence égale à celle de la pêche commerciale. La loi a mis au point les politiques et les programmes nécessaires à la protection et à l'aménagement des pêches maritimes et a préconisé la mise en valeur des pêcheries tant commerciales que de plaisance, de manière à optimiser les avantages que peuvent en tirer les citoyens américains aux plans nutritionnel, économique et récréatif. Le présent document décrit les efforts qui ont été accomplis par le Service national des pêches maritimes pour atteindre le développement optimal des pêches récréatives dans le sud-est des États-Unis. En particulier, l'auteur examine les objectifs du programme, identifie les obstacles (physiques, sociaux, économiques et juridiques) qui s'opposent à l'utilisation optimale des ressources halieutiques de cette région maritime par les pêcheurs de plaisance, et cite les actions qui sont menées actuellement pour surmonter ces obstacles.
Participation in marine recreational fishing in the U.S. has increased dramatically over the last 30 years. Estimates indicate that in 1975 over 16,4 million sport anglers fished over 207 million days in America's extensive network of coastal streams, rivers, bays, estuaries and ocean waters. This represented a 260% increase over the number of anglers estimated to have participated in saltwater sport fishing in the United States in 1955.
Even more astonishing has been the rise in expenditures by saltwater anglers during this period. The $500 million spent by saltwater anglers in 1955 seems insignificant when compared with the $4,5 billion anglers were estimated to have spent in 1975. (U.S. Department of Interior 1972, 1977).
In spite of the growing popularity and economic significance of marine recreational fisheries, it has been only in recent years that their full value and potential were formally recognized, through legislation, at a national level. Passage of the Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976 (FCMA) was indeed a turning point in the movement for recognition of recreational fishing as a socially and economically valuable use of U.S. marine fishery resources. Not only does the Act require equitable treatment of marine recreational fishing interests in fishery management plans for U.S. offshore fisheries, but it also makes clear, as a matter of national policy, that marine recreational fisheries are to be promoted to ensure that U.S. citizens benefit fully from resultant employment, food supply, revenue and recreational opportunities.
In response to this new national policy, the National Marine Fisheries Service initiated programs in 1978 to promote and develop marine recreational fisheries in the Southeast region of the U.S. This region includes the South Atlantic (North Carolina thru Florida Keys), Gulf of Mexico (Florida Keys thru Texas) and Caribbean (Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico) areas (see Fig. 1).
The purpose of this paper is to provide a brief description of saltwater sport fisheries in the Southeast, to identify and discuss problems which must be overcome to optimize benefits from the region's marine recreational fisheries and to describe and discuss present efforts of the National Marine Fisheries Service to develop marine recreational fisheries in the Southeast.
MARINE RECREATIONAL FISHERIES
While there is considerable discussion and some disagreement relative to specific numbers, there is general agreement that marine recreational fishing in the Southeastern U.S. has become an outdoor recreational activity of great significance in terms of participation, catch and economics. The following sections describe saltwater sport fisheries in the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico areas using the best available data. The scarcity of information concerning Caribbean saltwater sport fisheries has unfortunately precluded their inclusion in this discussion.
Fig. 1. The southeast region of the United States as defined by NMFS for programmatic purposes.
Table 1. Participation and expenditures for saltwater sport fishing in the United States.a
|A. Number of saltwater sport fishermen||4 557||6 292||8 305||9 460||16 400|
|B. Number of recreation days saltwater sport fishing||58 621||80 602||95 837||113 694||207 200|
|C. Expenditures of saltwater sport fishermen||488 939||626 191||799 656||1 224 705||3 450 000|
a Data from 1970 and 1975 National Survey of Fishing and Hunting and Wildlife Associated Recreation. U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C.
A Historical Perspective
The demand for outdoor recreation activities of all types increased dramatically in the U.S. in the years following World War II. Much of this increased demand stemmed from a marked rise in the affluence and mobility of Americans during this period and from attendant increases in leisure time and discretionary income. It was also during this period that major shifts in the American population were occurring both away from cities to the suburbs and from the hinterlands to the coasts. Undoubtedly, the proximity of larger portions of the population to water is partial explanation for the fact that by 1960, over 44% of all outdoor recreation participants in America preferred water-based recreation activities. (U.S. Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission 1962).
Based on the available data, it is evident that saltwater sport fishing was a prime target of opportunity seized upon by mushrooming coastal populations to partially fulfill their desire for water-based recreation. Table 1 reveals that between 1955 and 1975 participation in saltwater sport fishing in the U.S. increased 3.5 times and that related expenditures grew sevenfold! Major advances made during this period in the design and manufacture of recreational boats, outboard motors, navigational equipment and sport-fishing gear further contributed to increased participation in saltwater sport fishing.
The southeastern U.S. has accounted for a significant portion of the total growth in saltwater sport fishing participation between 1955 and the present. This is understandable when one considers the abundant and diverse fishery resources found in the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, and the region's warm climate and extended fishing seasons. Table 2 indicates that in 1979 the Southeast accounted for approximately 57% of all marine recreational anglers residing in Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastal states. Similarly, almost 61% of the total Atlantic and Gulf coast recreational finfish harvest (number) was attributed to the southeast region.
Table 2. Estimated number of salt-water anglers, fishing trips and catches in 1979 in the eastern United States by survey region.a
|Region||Number of anglersb|
|Number of tripsc|
|Number of fish caught|
|Number of fish landed|
|Weight of fish landed|
|I.||North Atlantic (New England)||1 093||6 738||39 365||10 838||8 130|
|II.||Middle Atlantic (New York through Virginia)||2 711||17 328||81 728||38 860||43 187|
|III.||South Atlantic (North Carolina through Florida Keys)||1 824||13 320||62 348||19 960||15 096|
|IV.||Gulf of Mexico (west coast of Florida through Texas)||3 215||22 617||124 947||42 614||31 569|
|Totals||8 843||60 003||308 388||112 272||97 982|
a Data taken from National Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey, National Marine Fisheries Service, Washington, D.C. Survey covered the period Nov. 1978-Oct. 1979.
b This number accounts only for saltwater anglers residing in the coastal states of each region.
c Trip estimates include trips taken by non-coastal state residents who fished in coastal waters of the region.
Participation and Catch
Tables 3 and 4 provide an overview of marine recreational fishing in the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico in terms of participation and catch. From the data presented, it is apparent that in 1979 there was a greater level of participation and catch in the Gulf of Mexico than in the South Atlantic. It is also apparent that the South Atlantic and Gulf were significantly different in terms of the distribution of catch between inshore and ocean waters. In the South Atlantic, the majority of fishing effort and catch occurred in ocean waters. In the Gulf, bays, sounds and rivers accounted for the major portion of the catch. This difference results, in part, from the fact that the Gulf area has a more highly indented coastline (greater number of bays and tributaries) and has a broader and more gently sloping continental shelf. Fishermen have to travel considerable distances to reach deep water in the Gulf.
As one might expect, the catch composition in the South Atlantic is considerably different from that in the Gulf of Mexico. Table 4 illustrates the relative importance of the various species groups in the overall recreational catch in these two areas in 1979. Note the differences in the numbers and weights of the top five species that are caught in each area.
Table 3. Characterization of marine recreational fishing in the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.
|(1)||Estimated total no. anglers living in coastal states of the region (1979)a||1,82 million||3,21 million|
|(2)||Estimated total no. fish caught (1979)||62,35 million||124,95 million|
|(3)||Disposition of catch (1979)|
|a. Released alive||29,5%||44,4%|
|b. Used for bait or dressed at sea (not available for identification)||38,5%||21,5%|
|c. Landed and available for identification||32%||34,1%|
|(4)||Estimated total no. fish landed (1979)||19,96 million||42,61 million|
|(5)||Estimated total weight of fish landed (1979)||15 096 metric tons||31 569 metric tons|
|(6)||Percent fish landed by area of fishing (1979)|
|a. Bays, sounds and rivers||45,1%||79,2%|
|b. Ocean less than 3 miles from shore||39,2%||11,7%|
|c. Ocean more than 3 miles from shore||15,7%||9,1%|
|(7)||Percent of total fish weight landed by area of fishing (1979)|
|a. Bays, sounds and rivers||26,9%||65,7%|
|b. Ocean less than 3 miles from shore||37,2%||11,2%|
|c. Ocean more than 3 miles from shore||35,9%||23,1%|
|(8)||Percent fish landed by method of fishing (1979)|
|a. Bridge, pier or jetty||26,3%||12,7%|
|b. Beach or bank||15,7%||9%|
|c. Private or rental boat||53%||45,3%|
|d. Charter or party boat||5%||33%|
|(9)||Percent total fish weight landed by method of fishing (1979)|
|a. Bridge, pier or jetty||12%||8,7%|
|b. Beach or bank||6,3%||5,1%|
|c. Private or rental boat||65,5%||54,3%|
|d. Charter or party boat||16,2%||31,9%|
|(10)||Economic impacts (1975)b|
|a. Sales||$289 million||$643 million|
|b. Value added||$108 million||$247 million|
|c. Wages and salaries||$52 million||$122 million|
|d. Employment (person-years)||8 090||17 530|
|e. Annual capital expenditures||$8,8 million||17,3 million|
a Preliminary estimates from 1979 National Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey, National Marine Fisheries Service, Washington, D.C., September, 1980.
b Data taken from: Economic Activity Associated with Marine Recreational Fishing, Centaur Management Consultants, Inc. Washington, D.C., June, 1977.
Table 4. Number of fish caught and weight of fish landed by U.S. saltwater anglers in the southeast in 1979.a
|Species group||Number of fish landed|
|Weight of fish landed|
|South Atlantic||Gulf||South Atlantic||Gulf|
|Basses, sea||918||3 124||380||712|
|Croaker, Atlantic||1 919||3 098||510||883|
|Dolphins||1 203||38||3 681||149|
|Flounders, summer||618||1 311||330||665|
|Mackerel, king||164||399||833||1 797|
|Mackerel, Spanish||87||1 036||71||1 298|
|Mackerels and tunas||47||-||171||75|
|Mullets||1 229||1 848||679||962|
|Seatrout, sand||-||2, 539||0||793|
|Seatrout, spotted||2 201||5 903||1 234||3 239|
|Sheepshead||670||1 804||661||1 465|
|Skates and rays||-||-||10||0|
|Snapper, gray||147||4 518||122||2 444|
|Snapper, red||116||3 230||124||2 395|
|Snapper, vermillion||75||1 519||16||574|
|Trigger and filefishes||54||1 708||62||1 270|
|Other fishes||467||627||1 232||1 953|
|Totals||19 960||42 614||15 096||31 569|
a Preliminary data from the 1979 National Marine Recreational Fishing Statistics Survey, NMFS, Washington, D.C., September 1980. Catch and weight estimates may be subject to minor revisions.
An asterisk (*) denotes none reported. A dash
(-) denotes less than 30,000 were reported.
Marine recreational fishing in the South Atlantic and Gulf is indeed an activity of economic significance to the region. Not only are saltwater anglers visiting the productive waters of the region in growing numbers, but they are also spending increasing amounts of money. In 1975, marine recreational fishermen spent over $932 million in the Southeast region on fishing tackle, boats, motors, trailers, marine services, charter and headboat trips, boat fuel, boat insurance, bait, food, lodging, transportation and other miscellaneous items. These direct sales resulted in over $355 million in indirect economic impacts as revenue was respent in the region's economic community. Furthermore, direct sales stimulated $15,8 million worth of capital investment expenditures, and directly supported 25 620 person-years of employment representing $174,7 million in wages and salaries. From a national perspective, the Southeast region accounted for 51 percent of the total economic impacts associated with marine recreational fishing in the U.S. in 1975. (Centaur 1977).
PROMOTING MARINE RECREATIONAL FISHERIES
Marine recreational fisheries were largely ignored in federal and state fishery management and development programs until the late 1950's. In part, this lack of interest in marine recreational fisheries stemmed from a near absence of participation, catch and economic information relative to saltwater sport fisheries. Indeed, marine commercial fisheries were better understood, were more identifiable, quantifiable, and manageable and seemed to require management most. Moreover, prevailing social and ethical values at the time dictated that fishing for food was of greater importance than fishing for fun (Hargis 1978).
As levels of participation and catch increased in the post World War II years, marine recreational fishing gained visibility and studies were initiated to determine the character and relative importance of this popular recreational activity. With each new piece of information came a growing realization that marine recreational fishing was an activity of great popularity, economic significance and consequence to marine fishery resources.
Coincident with increased interest in, and understanding of, marine recreational fisheries, was a growing national concern over the health of U.S. marine fishery resources and fear that foreign fishing pressure was resulting in overexploitation of certain marine fish stocks. In response to these fears, Congress enacted the FCMA in April 1976. In addition to calling for immediate action to conserve and manage marine fishery resources found off the coasts of the U.S., FCMA declared that it is the Nation's policy “to promote domestic, commercial and recreational fishing under sound conservation and management purposes.”
In response to this initiative, and in recognition of the importance of marine recreational fisheries in the South Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean areas, the Southeast Region of the National Marine Fisheries Service established in Recreational Development Services Branch within the Fishery Development Division in July 1978. The Branch was established to promote and develop Southeastern marine recreational fisheries under sound fishery conservation and management principles. In the long term, development is to ensure that the public benefits fully from the food supply, economic activity and recreational opportunities generated by healthy marine recreational fisheries.