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The terms of reference for this study were to appraise the economic and recreational values of sport fishing, with particular reference to Europe, including:

  1. a review of the literature on the subject,
  2. identification of the problems to be considered,
  3. recommendations which will enable interested countries to take steps to measure:

    1. the relative values of sport fisheries as compared with those of commercial fisheries and other uses of water;

    2. their value to the national economy.

After compiling and studying the literature on the subject of sport fishing and recreation in general, and establishing contacts with researchers1 in this field in various parts of the world, it was found that very little research and systematic fact-finding has been or is being carried out in Europe. Conversely, in the United States and Canada, a substantial amount of applied research and field work has been evidenced in the last 15 years. This uneven distribution of research and data between Europe and North America was recognized by Dill (1964) when he compiled his bibliography on the economic evaluation of sport fishing and fisheries resources.

1 A partial list of experts, and their address, who have greatly assisted the author by showing him publications or correspondence, is given in Appendix A.

This means that data on structure and trends in sport fishing as a part of outdoor recreation and the analysis of concepts, measures and methods are based, to a large extent, on North American literature and personal communication of the author with, notably, North American experts. This particular reference to the United States and Canada is, therefore, necessary and should not be looked upon as a serious problem. In recreational behaviour studies, different concepts, measures, methods and variables developed in other countries can be used because they belong to the behaviouristic sciences and have international application. This aspect needs to be emphasized because, in the author's experience and according to other experts involved in fishery management, people who have limited knowledge of behaviouristic sciences have a tendency to think that their country, region or local area is unique, and that concepts and methods developed elsewhere are not applicable in their case.

After compiling and studying the literature on this topic, corresponding and discussing with researchers, fishery officers, administrators, biologists and experts in tourism, it was decided to divide this report into two main parts, to be supplemented later by an updated version of Dill's bibliography.

Part I deals, in an abbreviated form, with the economic evaluation of sport fishing, the main problems, concepts, measures and methods. Part II is a compilation of excerpts, abstracts, conclusions of relevant published and unpublished reports and articles on socio-economic aspects of sport fishing and fishery resources. Many were taken from the SFI Bulletin which I thankfully acknowledge; others were selected in consultation with some of the experts listed in Appendix A. The content of Part II is sub-divided as follows: socio-economic data, planning, and commercial and sport fishing. See detailed contents on page 35.

The problems and methods encountered in the economic evaluation of sport fishing are complex and no generally accepted evaluation method exists yet. It is, therefore, preferable to substantiate the first section with a wide range of examples on evaluation, planning, consumer conflicts, policy, socio-economic studies, etc., as will be done in Part II. This will be particularly useful for readers who do not have experience in behaviouristic sciences (economics, sociology, psychology, etc.) and who are eager to learn and accumulate important references on this subject.

In order to encourage European countries to evaluate their inland sport fisheries as quickly as possible, it is necessary that a flow of ideas within, but particularly between, countries start immediately. Part II should greatly assist in this regard as well as the updated bibliography which will also include, it is hoped, a list of selected and essential literature on this topic. Additional suggestions will be given at the end of Part I in order to speed up the international exchange of information, ideas and experience.

It appears from available literature, and from the author's correspondence with experts in the United States and Canada, that the main problems to be discussed here can be grouped under two headings:

-   Definitions, objectives, structure and trends in sport fishing

-   Concepts and methods used for evaluating sport fishing and fishery resources

Part I of this report deals with these aspects.


2.1 Definitions and Objectives

Sport fishing is mostly seen as a kind of outdoor activity, one of several forms of the use of a natural resource, i.e. water.

In studies published in Europe and North American (U.S. 1962b, Sweden 1964) during recent years, recreation is seen as the main objective in sport fishing. Sport fishing in operational terms (equipment used, etc.) varies among countries (U.S. 1962a). One type of equipment, e.g. spear or net, is allowed in one country and forbidden in another (USFWS, 1966, Sweden 1968). This variation in regulations probably depends on differences in demand, supply, tradition and lack of empirical objectives. This lack in sport fishing reflects and creates a series of problems.

The conflicts between the different forms of use of fishing waters, e.g. commercial and sport, between forms of recreational use, e.g. fishing and boating, and between forms of recreation and commercial use, e.g. fishing and industry, cannot be solved with a view to obtaining optimum benefits in economic and social terms before correct definitions and objectives have been established.

The concept “recreation” has been of high value in the modern planning of outdoor recreational areas, particularly in North American and Sweden. It is stressing the consumer aspects, i.e. the emphasis is shifting from “fish to people” (Clawson, 1965). The consumer variables, i.e. desires, willingness to pay, age distribution and taste formation, will have a high influence on planning models for the use of water resources. However, the many problems encountered cannot be solved with only a vague concept like recreation. This point is illustrated in several examples in Part II (see 2.2, 2.5, 2.13, 2.26).

Clawson (1968; II.2.24) has made a time-process analysis of recreation (anticipation, travel to, on site, return, recollection) and has stressed that, on the whole, this macrocircle must be considered in planning and evaluation, and that the outdoor recreation on site (the microcircle) is only a part, and sometimes a small part, of the whole package.

If it is desired to design planning models for the maximum benefit, multiple use, of water resources, these macro-micro circle aspects are very important. Much recreation can be provided if important phases like anticipation and recollection are taken into consideration. Strangely enough, we can produce much recreation by satisfying needs and learned functions such as probability of catch and/or the prospects of a good fish fight. In one planning model, the Hazzard plan (i.e. catching and releasing the fish) is successful where there is a big demand and a limited supply of fish (often trout streams near urban centres). This plan is widely used in the United States (Beall, 1964). Fishermen often throw coarse fish back into the water. These principles are similar to simulating techniques such as clay-pigeon shooting and hunting with a camera. The important thing is that levels of experienced recreation can be varied by changing conditions in the different parts of the macro-micro circles. It is also very important to discover what people can learn to like (taste formation), what they like (what produced recreation) and what they or the State are willing to pay for recreation.

From this discussion it is evident that the concept of recreational experience is very complex. It can be measured, as similar activities, in monetary terms, i.e. expenditure and willingness to pay. But these measures can only be general indicators of experienced recreation and should be complemented by more direct methods for experience measurement, e.g. modern psychophysical methods.

2.2 Structure and Trends in Sport Fishing

2.2.1 Number of sport fishermen, activity level, expenditure, etc.

Data from Canada, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States show that sport fishing is the largest or one of the largest active outdoor sports, representing up to 40 per cent of the total population and sometimes two-thirds of the male population in certain districts (including all levels of activity) (U.S. 1962c; USFWS, 1966; Norling, 1968; most of these reports are abstracted under II.1).

Sport fishing is more evenly distributed over age groups than most other outdoor activities (U.S. 1962b, Sweden 1964). The latest National Survey of Hunting and Fishing in the U.S.A. (USFWS, 1966) which has been extended to the 9–11 years' age group also confirms this.

The sex ratio varies between countries: the United States (USFWS, 1966) and Sweden (Norling, 1968) have a much higher fishing activity among women than Canada and the United Kingdom (II. 1.17, II. 1.2). Fishing with the family is rather common in the United States (U.S. 1962c, II.2.12) and Sweden (Norling, 1968). Fishermen's travel and tourist fishing, when measured, out of one's state in the United States (USFWS, 1966), from the United States to Canada (U.S. 1962c), from the United Kingdom to Ireland (Eire, 1966, II.3.6) and within Sweden (Norling, 1968) is indeed very large.

Fishing activities and the number of fishermen in relation to income, when studied (USFWS, 1966), gave a fairly even distribution with slightly higher activities in higher income groups. Sport fishing is, therefore, a sport for all ages and income levels (Davidson et al., 1966).

The participation in sport fishing as in hunting is higher among people living in rural areas and towns than in small and big cities (USFWS, 1966). Higher participation rate is often found in areas with good supply (USFWS, 1966, Norling, 1968).

The demand for different types of fishing varies. Fishing for trout and salmon seems especially attractive (U.S. 1962c; Norling, 1968), whereas interest in coarse fishing varies (U.S. 1962a; Norling, 1968). The interest in sea angling has been rather low in many countries but is increasing rapidly (USFWS, 1966; II.3.6).

The economic value of sport fishing has been studied thoroughly. The gross expenditure of sport fishermen in the United States (USFWS, 1966; II.1.12) and of members of sport fishing associations and clubs in Sweden (Norling, 1968) is high. In 1965, in the United States, 28 million sport fishermen spent an average of 103 dollars each, which means a total of about 3 billion dollars. Similar results are found in studies from other parts of the world (Opperman, 1965). The distribution of expenditure on different items is described under section 2.3 (gross expenditure method).

The geographical distribution of expenditure and income generated by sport fishing is uneven. Only a small part will find its way to the site of recreation (Clawson, 1965; II.2.4). Several studies of the economies of sport fishing versus commercial fishing have shown that in inland and coastal fisheries, waters close to urban centres and waters where attractive species are found, e.g. trout and salmon, higher economic and social benefits are derived from sport fishing (II.3.1; U.S. 1962c).

The mental health effects of sport fishing have not been studied specifically, however some reports indicate that sport fishing is found to have a very high therapeutic effect on mental patients (II.2.12, II.2.10).

2.2.2 Trends in sport fishing

Whatever measure is used, there is a strong upward trend in sport fishing activities in countries where studies have been carried out. Attendance figures and demand estimates show for the United States at least a fourfold increase in demand for sport fishing between now and the year 2,000 (USFWS, 1966). A similar general increase is estimated in Sweden for outdoor recreation (Norling, 1968).

The demand for sea angling is increasing rapidly and will probably absorb most of the new fishing pressure in many countries (USFWS, 1966). Similar tendencies are also found for coarse fishing (USFWS, 1966, II.3.6).

Some studies of potential demand for sport fishing have been made (see also 2.3, the discussion of option demand and opportunity effects in connection with direct methods). It has been found in the United States (USFWS, 1966) and Sweden (Norling, 1968) that sport fishing belongs to the highest estimates for “want to start or want to do more”. In an excellent analysis of outdoor recreation data, the SFI Executive Director, Mr. R.H. Stroud, (see Appendix A, p.82) has shown that fishing and hunting, the traditional outdoor sports, constitute key values in outdoor recreation planning. They are more or less and objects of activities like boating (80 per cent of boat use is connected with fishing or hunting), and camping (86 per cent). He says, for example, “Certainly, the primary rôle of picnicking as a major recreational objective remains subject to serious doubt” (SFI, 1966; II.2.13).

Data on sport fishing trends are impressive. We can accept or doubt the figures given, and we can discuss different methods used to measure trends and the need for recreation. But if the trends in many European countries prove to be similar to those seen in the United States and Sweden, there is a serious need for replanning the European inland fisheries. These trends would seriously affect the planning of tourist and commercial fishing in many areas and the management of the fisheries, introduction of new species, gear, regulations, etc. These problems have been seriously discussed in the Bledisloe (U.K.MAFF, 1961) and Hunter (U.K., 1965) reports (see also II.3.2 and II.2.11) and in several North American reports (e.g. II.3.1, II.3.3, II.2.12, II.2.15, II.2.23).

Several factors in the modern society of the western world contribute to a rapid growth in the demand for outdoor recreation. Some factors often mentioned are: more leisure time, unpreceded affluence, better transportation, new and better recreational equipment and supplies. To these are added an increasing population and a rapidly increasing tourist industry.


Recreation and sport fishing in particular have only recently been recognized as a large and important use of natural resources. This belated recognition is, nevertheless, an effect of systematic studies of the recreation area.

As can be seen in section 2.2, data on structure and trend are important. It is quite evident, however, that an economic evaluation of these data is necessary for objective decision-making.

Almost all the important studies made of structure, trend and value have been prepared during the last 15 years, as is evidenced by Dill's bibliography (1964). A large part of outdoor recreation seems to have been developed mainly as a non-market commodity and this has delayed the development of suitable evaluation methods (Crutchfield, 1965). From the latest eclectic reports that I can find, it is evident that we are just now in the midst of an important evolution in evaluation methods. No method is yet generally accepted (Bollman, 1967) and much remains to be done with important subjects such as tourism (Knetsch, 1966) and use of made lakes (Jackson, 1966, Stroud, 1966).

3.1 Need for an Economic Evaluation of Sport Fishing

Natural resources, such as water, serve several purposes. Quite often, there is competition between different forms of recreation (fishing, swimming, hunting, etc.) and between recreation and commercial use of water (water disposal, hydro-power, commercial fishing, etc.).

There is no alternative for a national planning agency but economic evaluation if it wants to make objective decisions, obtain a balanced use of the resources and solve the conflicts between various groups competing for water. One of the accepted criteria is the greatest benefit to society, or the maximum net benefits from the use of social goods. Readers interested in these problems and related social evaluation are referred to articles by Crutchfield (1962, 1965), Spargo (1965), and to several other articles which can be found in the report of the Ottawa Symposium on the Economic Aspects of Sport Fishing (Canada, 1965) and Davidson et al. (1966).

3.2 Can recreational behaviour like sport fishing be evaluated?

We must have a common scale for evaluation. The monetary scale is in use for evaluating other forms of water use, e.g. hydro-power, and as stated before it can be used for evaluating sport fishing.

Many arguments are raised against evaluating recreational behaviour such as sport fishing. The most common is the belief that outdoor recreational experience is outside the framework of economics, that it is an aesthetic, psychological experience uniquely personal that cannot be measured.

It is both erroneous and misleading to say that aesthetic experiences cannot be measured by economic and psychological methods. As will be seen later, market-determined and indirectly determined measures can be used with a certain level of reliability and validity. We can now, with a considerable degree of success, measure and predict the sport fisherman-consumer behaviour, e.g. attendance, demand and willingness to pay.

The measurement of psychological variables (e.g. why they are willing to pay more for this than for that) is being studied to a much smaller extent, which means also that the fundamental concept - recreation - is poorly analysed.

We know very little on the mental health - therapeutical aspect - of recreation and have only observations like that registered in ORRRC Rep.7 (U.S. 1962c, II.2.12, II.2.10) about the successful use of sport fishing at the veteran hospitals (see also 2.21).

The study of taste formation or learning process in recreation is also very meagre. We know little about why and how we become sport fishermen, and how we change our behaviour to new forms of fishing. This is a serious problem for the economist, as assumptions about stability of interest, etc., are basic for the prediction models (Bollman, 1967).

The contemporary view of these problems is that we can and have to measure sport fishing in descriptive economic terms, to get information about the amount, trends, etc. But it is also quite evident that we have to use psychological methods to measure experience variables, mental health and therapy effects, etc. Data of this type are of great importance for the social and political evaluation of recreational benefit.

The overall impression of the literature reviewed is that just now we have left the supply-orientated approach (stocking, management) and are studying in economic terms consumer behaviour or demand. We have to emphasize the consumer in recreational use of national resources, and there the economist gives way to other social scientists. This change in objectives from supply to demand studies is heavily stressed in the ORRRC Reports and the 1965 Ottawa Symposium (Canada, 1965). In these reports it is evident that the group of experts taking active interest in these studies is, by necessity, widening to include not only biologists, technician-economists, but also pyschologists, educators, sociologists, etc.

The last part of the conclusion of the main address at the Ottawa Symposium given by Marion Clawson (1965) shows the importance of these trends: “The problems of fisheries people will increasingly shift from fish to people - how to educate, help, guide, and hopefully satisfy the recreationists seeking some fishing. This will inevitably impose new and different burdens upon researchers and managers alike. Whether one welcomes these imminent changes or views them with sorrow, the problems will be more easily dealt with if foreseen and met as they arise”.

3.3 Methods for an Economic Evaluation of Sport Fisheries1

1 Two sample questionnaires are given in Appendix B, p. 83.

Planning the recreational use of natural resources is more or less based on subjective estimates of demand and supply. The following evaluation methods deal mainly with users or with the demand side.

It should be stressed from the very beginning that most of the methods described are based on the theory of demand behaviour but that the term “demand” is used here, and in reports, instead of the term “use”. Attendance figures are used for projections, “demand” ourves, etc. These figures are measures of use where demand and supply are not separated (Stevens and Bollman, 1966).

Before we go into a description and evaluation of different methods, it should be repeated again that opinion differs among experts on the usefulness of the various methods. As was said before, no method is yet generally accepted. The description of the methods cannot be given in detail; they are summarized here to inform the reader of their existence (see also Part II).

- Gross Expenditure Method

This method usually measures the total expenditure per year on recreation or per trip. The total amount is often sub-divided into cost of travel, equipment and expenses on site. The method is widely used, and the results - total expenditure - are often impressive. The United States 1965 National Survey of Fishing and Hunting (USFWS, 1966; see questionnaire, p. 89) gave a total expenditure by sport fishermen of 3 billion dollars (average per fisherman, 103 dollars). The total amount is sub-divided into per cent as follows: auxiliary equipment, 26.9 per cent; fishing equipment, 11 per cent; bait, guides and other, 27.7 per cent; food and lodging, 15.2 per cent; transportation, 14.7 per cent; licences, 2.3 per cent; and privilege fees 2.2 per cent (II. 1.12).

As far as can be seen from recent literature, and from discussion with experts, this method has limited value (Crutchfield, 1965a). It can be used for assessing the impact of the development or loss of sport fishing activities in particular local areas (Crutchfield, 1965, a, b) such as some tourist projects. It is valuable as an indicator of money spent on different types of outdoor recreation, but it must be remembered that the values are a function of methods used and type of supply.

The method has been widely used, but the results have had very little effect on decisions of primary benefit (Crutchfield, 1965, a, b). Some of the most important restrictions should be mentioned:

  1. The method does not give a net increase in value over and above what would occur in the absence of a particular recreation opportunity or from an increase in a particular sport fishing opportunity. It is only a net benefit that can be compared consistently with net benefits from competing uses of land and water (Knetsch, 1966; Crutchfield, 1965b).

  2. The method does not reflect changes in recreational opportunity, e.g. supply, partly because the attendance expenditures do not separate demand and supply, and do not reflect the price-quantity relationship, which lie behind demand curves (Bollman, 1967).

If we use only gross expenditure data for an evaluation of primary benefit, we can come to stupid conclusions like “the further away the fish are, the harder and more expensive it is to get there, the more they are worth” (Crutchfield, 1965a).

As a conclusion, one can say that the gross expenditure method will be used less in the future because of its limited application for net benefit studies, and its reliance on operational definitions of used methods and types of supply.

Readers interested in further studies could examine relevant parts of Part II and studies by Crutchfield (1965, a, b; 1962) and by the group at the Department of Agricultural Economics, Experimental Station, University of California, Berkeley (Bollman, 1967; Stevens and Bollman, 1966).

- Market Value of the Fish Caught

The assumption behind this method is that the recreation benefit (resource value, etc.) is the same as the market value of the fish caught (Knetsch and Davis, 1966).

The basic assumption that the fish alone are the primary objective of the recreation activity or process is very misleading (Clawson, 1965).

It is argued by some that measures of market value give a minimum value to the resource. This method is seldom used independently of other methods. The recreational value is, for example, for a high quality site, many times higher than the flesh value (II. 3.1).

It has also been argued that evaluation of catch is a sound and practical method for comparing commercial and sport fishery benefits. This is, of course, not true for several reasons; one is illustrated in the basic assumption described above; another one is that some sport fish species are usually not marketed commercially (Knetsch and Davis, 1966).

For the reasons given above, the use of a multiple of this market value is not recommended, e.g. that a 1,000 dollars' commercial catch is worth 10,000 dollars in recreational use.

- Generation Cost

According to this method, the value of the recreation resource is assumed to be equal to the cost of generating it or a multiple of these costs.

This is a very odd method, of little use in economic evaluation. It has several limitations as it does not measure consumer expenditure or willingness to pay in any useful sense. It is useless to evaluate the loss of recreation opportunities or the effects of alternative projects or investments (Knetsch and Davis, 1966).

- Market Value of the Fishing Water

This type of evaluation has many forms. Charges or unit values based on net cost or supply income are multiplied by actual or expected attendance figures. This simplified method is used in evaluating recreation on the federal level in the United States (White, 1965; II.2.9). It simulates the price-quality relation of demand and supply curves in a simple manner with a basic estimate of water quality and proper unit value, e.g. technical directions are given in U.S.A. Senate Document No. 97, Supplement 1 (White, 1965), from which we can quote: “In the general absence of market prices, values for specified recreational activities may be derived or estimated on the basis of a simulated market giving weight to all pertinent considerations, including charges that recreationists should be willing to pay, and to any actual charges being paid by users for comparable opportunities at other installations or on the basis of justifiable alternative cost”.

These directions are looked upon as interim. A discussion of these problems is found in II. 2.9, and in a paper by Stevens and Bollman (1966).

One form of this method is to evaluate a resource by its market value given in auction or bids in different forms. This type of pricing is more common in Europe and Canada (Spargo, 1965), and probably much more common for hunting than for fishing.

The method in all its forms is based on the economically sound principle “willingness to pay” in the choice of recreational resource and added activities.

Some more or less important objections are often mentioned, e.g. that the recreation market is commercial only to a small degree. This stands for both state-and privately owned areas. The two types of area are not always comparable, so values used from private areas are not often applicable to state areas (Knetsch and Davis, 1966).

Unit values are not sensitive enough to the important distance variable (distance between consumer and resource) and to variation in quality (Knetsch and Davis, 1966).

- Direct and Indirect Methods Based on Willingness to Pay

As was said in the case of the method dealing with the market value of the fishing water, the main objective of evaluation is to study net benefits and to measure the total willingness to pay by consumers of outdoor recreation services as though these consumers were purchasing the services in an open market.

What we try to measure as a basis for our planning decisions are the concurrent and future demands, in statistical terms, the area under the demand curve.

Two types of evaluation methods have been developed - the direct and indirect methods.

(a) Direct methods

Interviews and surveys are direct methods to test the willingness to pay for specific outdoor recreation services like sport fishing. Usually, several important background variables are studied, e.g. income, age, family structure and distribution of expenditure. As a description, we can cite Knetsch and Davis (1966): “The essence of the interview method for measuring recreation benefits is that through a properly constructed interview approach one can elicit from recreationists, information concerning the maximum price they would pay in order to avoid being deprived of the use of a particular area for whatever use they may make of it”.

The problem as mentioned earlier is to develop methods with an acceptable level of reliability (is the reported price close to the true willingness-to-pay level?) and predictive validity (are the variables measured correlated with the recreational behaviour variables, choice of site, attendance frequency, etc.?).

Until recently, economists have been sceptical of the direct method (Crutchfield, 1965b) but studies, primarily by the Davis group of Resources for the Future Inc. (see Appendix A), have given many promising results, and the attitude is now positive. The Canadian Department of Fisheries (Spargo, 1965) has also made important contributions in this regard.

Detailed examples of the proper techniques can be found in Davis (1963), for example, and Knetsch and Davis (1966)1. In the letter report a very interesting comparison is made between direct and indirect measurement.

1 The rapporteur has, in co-operation with the EIFAC Secretariat, started to collect examples of different kinds of useful methods aiming at the creation of an information bank of methodology.

The discussion of the usefulness of the direct methods in measuring recreation has only been going on for a few years. It is difficult and perhaps too early to summarise the discussion. Nevertheless, the most important arguments are given below. The interested reader can find more on this subject in Part II of this report and in suggested literature.

As the method is designed to measure the willingness to pay and the net benefit, it has a sound theoretical basis. Some of its limitations are:

-    it is more expensive than the indirect method;

-    it gives a poor separation in cases of multiple use, alternative choice, etc. (Crutchfield, 1965a);

-    it understates systematically the real economic contribution of fish, wildlife, and the activities associated with it (Crutchfield, 1965a), (incidentally, this is also relevant for the indirect method) and

-    it does not clearly differentiate between demand and supply when figures are used for prediction.

This so-called identification problem is relevant to all methods (Bollman, 1967).

With respect to the last problem a discussion of Knetsch and Davis (1966) should be mentioned. In their view, no method in use is able to measure option demand (demand from individuals who are not now consumers or are not now consuming as much as they anticipate consuming, and who therefore would be willing to pay to perpetuate the availability of the commodities) and the opportunity effect (derives from those unanticipated increases in demand caused by new methods or by improving the opportunities to engage in a recreational activity, and thereby acquainting consumers with new and different sets of opportunities to which they adapt through learning processes). This last process was analysed by Bollman (1967) when discussing taste formation as an implication for formal dynamic demand theory. The responses to new goods like ski-ing, spearfishing, snowmobiling, etc., are likened to the spread of an infectious disease. The epidemic model states that the growth is sigmoid rather than linear.

(b) Indirect methods

The indirect methods use the distance variable, e.g. travel distance or travel costs incurred by visitors coming from various distances as a proxy for a fee or price, and the frequency of visits from these visitors living in areas or zones. “Demand” functions are developed on the assumption that the travel cost variable is highly correlated with the cost attendance relation. In other words, values of travel cost are used to simulate a system of prices and attendance (“demand” functions).

The indirect methods have been widely used, partly because they are simpler and less expensive than the direct methods.

The measurement model is based on suggestions by Hotelling but it is mainly Marion Clawson who has developed the technique for the recreation area (Bollman, 1967). The work of Brown, Singh and Castle in sport fishing is often cited and recommended (Brown et al., 1964).

The interested reader is referred to Part II of this report and to articles by Spargo (1965), Crutchfield (1965b), Knetsch and Davis (1966) and Scott (1965).

The indirect method is a simplified two-factor model with several limitations because, in fact, it tries to reflect a multifactor process. It is, however, especially suitable for hunting and fishing where the demand curves generated are likely to prove more accurate than for multiple-purpose holiday activities (Crutchfield, 1965b).

Among the limitations, some of the most important should be noted:

-    Distance and travel time are translated into economic terms. This involves the assumption that “all users of the resource in all areas are completely indifferent to the amount of time involved and to the pleasure of displeasure involved in travel itself” (Crutchfield, 1965b).

It is pointed out that the economic value of time varies systematically with income and type of occupation (Scott, 1965).

Crutchfield (1965b) suggests that complementary information should be provided about socio-economic characteristics of the population actually or potentially available to the site, especially income level and occupation. He also points out that if alternative use (opportunity costs of time) aspects are neglected, the results will give overstatement of elasticity of demand and understatement of the maximum net yield of the fishery.

We must also remember that little consideration is given in this model to differences in quality level (recreational outcome) and physical values of supply. The main criterion is the recreation experienced, therefore it is very important to know about user preferences for sport fishing of varying quality and availability. For an economic estimate it is thereby necessary to know the alternative costs of providing the preferred levels of service.

The problem of choice between alternative fishing sites is of importance for single owners' net benefit. If you have two sites at the same distance, of the same quality, and the interested sport fishermen are fully informed about both, then the income, attendance, etc., of each will be half of the one-site case. If there are differences between the sites, the distribution of attendance will be changed.

Clawson's model (Spargo, 1965) states that the value of a sport fishing area can be ascertained by estimating the maximum returns which would accrue to a sole owner. The fee can be determined at which the returns are maximised.

According to Spargo (1965), Clawson's method seems to be relevant where:

  1. there are no other close alternatives;

  2. alternatives exist, but similar fees are charged;

  3. alternatives exist, but sport fishermen (such as foreign visitors) have no knowledge of them;

  4. the number of alternatives and their capacity is so small that the influx of sport fishermen (who used to patronise the fishing area now in private hands) has a negative influence on the “quality” of sport fishing at these alternative areas.

A complementary indirect method to Clawson's model is the Alternative Areas Method. This method has not been used much yet in evaluation of recreational benefit. The basic principle is the same as is used in primary benefit evaluation, e.g. hydro-electric power projects, an evaluation of the difference between the cost of production by one means and the next alternative means. It is a decision-oriented method, as it satisfies the need for data on alternatives in administrators' decision process for priorities.

One of the best known studies is done by Ullman and Volk (1962). Their problem was to predict attendance and benefit at a new reservoir area. With a survey technique they studied persons attending more distant impoundments and whether they would direct their attendance to the new reservoir. Calculations of benefit were made both on travel cost and travel-time savings.

The method, of course, has limitations that are general for the indirect technique. It can be useful in area planning with several distributed recreation projects. It can, also, be useful as giving an upper limit to recreation values. The estimated value of a project cannot exceed the cost of providing these benefits elsewhere.

As a start, interested readers are referred to Spargo (1965).


The new research material which has appeared in the United States, e.g. the ORRRC studies 1958–62, has had a very significant effect in many respects. The Federal and State administrations have been re-organised, evaluations in the Congress have changed, new institutions have been formed, working instructions and definitions have been adjusted to the new facts, and the local field work has been intensified.

Some instances will be given below. Many detailed examples are given in Part II of this report. The report from the Ottawa Symposium (Canada, 1965) and various number of the SFI Bulletin1 are recommended to interested readers.

1 The Sport Fishing Institute, 719-13th Street, N.W., Washington DC, 20005

4.1 Change in Planning Policy and Social Evaluation

Sport fishing, like other recreational activities, has been looked upon as a private activity where taste formation and activity levels were formed according to income, social habits and interest. Serious problems connected with social need, balance of resource use and demand/ supply planning were not recognised until data on structure and trends in outdoor recreation were compiled.

The impressive data published by ORRRC and other institutions have affected all levels concerned. Evaluation and policy have been changed at Congress and Departmental level. The late President Kennedy gave outdoor recreation strong support in his comments to the Congress about the budget plan in 1963 (Norling, 1968).

At the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission Meeting in Florida in 1962, Thomas Rice (United States), one of the leading experts in the Fish and Wildlife Service, declared that until then the fishery administration had almost solely been directed towards commercial fishing within administration, economy, laws and research. The new data from ORRRC about sport fishing has changed the picture completely and made it necessary to re-organise the whole system (II.2.23).

4.2 Economic, Social and Tourist Development of Poorly Industrialised Areas with Attractive Fishing Waters

In ORRRC Report 24 on Economic Studies of Outdoor Recreation, examples are given which show that with proper planning of supply, regulations and equipment, a substantial benefit has been noted in areas with good fishing waters (II. 1.7, II. 2.22). The recreational planning of this type of area is very difficult, because both economic and local social aspects must be considered. One often finds that in spite of a large need for income there is resistance among local groups against the economic and rational use of their water resources. Some think, for example, that the social disturbance can be larger than the economic benefit. In Part II, there is an interesting and important example of the recreational use of the Fort Apache Indian Reservation (II. 2.22).

The planning model developed produces a large amount of recreation, a good income for the tribe, work and responsibilities for the tribal members, which are in line with customs, habits and philosophy of life within the tribe.

Knowledge of planning models taking into consideration these social aspects will be necessary for the planning of recreational resources in Europe, e.g. in Lappland (Northern Scandinavia), Ireland, in several Eastern European States, and other parts of the world (Scudder, 1966). Similar consideration could, also, be used in the eventual change from commercial to sport fishing in inland and sea coastal waters.

Part II of this report and numerous references in Dill (1964) show that sport fishing is very promising for the tourist industry. The demand is increasing very rapidly (II. 3.6), a large number of persons are, or want to be, sport fishermen (U.S. 1962c) and there is a high willingness to pay for fishing opportunities. In addition, net foreign exchange earnings are substantial for countries able to satisfy eager non-national fishermen.

American data show, for instance, that 75 per cent of the United States tourists to Canada want to fish (U.S. 1962c). A large amount of tourist money is spent in connection with sport fishing in countries like Norway, Ireland (II. 3.6) and Yugoslavia (pers. comm.).

In papers dealing with sport or commercial fishing, one finds numerous descriptions of commercial fishermen who have become guides for sport fishermen, using their boats for sea angling.

As was said before, there is a serious lack of information about these structures and trends with respect to fishing tourists in Europe.

4.3 Objective Balance Between Commercial and Recreational Fishing

Economic and social benefits of commercial fishing are fairly well known. In the growing competition over the fishery resources between sport and commercial fishermen, a serious conflict with all its political and emotional disturbances can be predicted. Interested countries, eager to maximise the use of their natural resources for their society, have a moral obligation therefore to evaluate, in a reliable fashion, their inland fisheries.

In some cases where objective evaluations have been performed, sport fishing often had larger national and local benefits than commercial fishing. This is the case for salmon fishing in Eastern Canada (II. 3.1), salmon and trout fishing in England and Scotland (U.K. MAFF, 1961; U.K., 1965, II. 3.2, II. 2.11), and for a large part of inland and coastal fishing in the United States (U.S. 1962o; Crutchfield, 1965a; II. 3.5, II. 2.12).

The evaluation problem is becoming more and more important as the demand for recreation increases, and the commercial inland and coastal fisheries in some parts of Europe are becoming uneconomic, or where fisheries are disappearing altogether with uncontrolled pollution.

The problems are international, as evidenced by the following quotation from Knetsch (1966): “It seems clear that if the increases in demand for outdoor recreation services apparent in the behaviour of American consumers is at all correct, and all of the evidence suggests that it is, then the public welfare is better served by shifting water and other resources from alternative uses to recreation uses. Such use is simply becoming increasingly more valuable. However, such decisions necessitate some assesement of these values.”

4.4 Sport Fishing and Water Pollution

The conditions of pollution are changing rapidly. All forms of water use, including sport fishing, will be affected. The problems involved are very complex. So far, few studies have been dealing with sport fishing and pollution. Two important studies are, nevertheless, reported here. One concerns the effect of sport fishing on the conditions of pollution, and the other, the reverse, the effect of pollution on sport fishing.

In a study of a 700-acre reservoir for domestic needs in Missouri (U.S.A.), it was found that a broad spectrum of intensive recreational activities did not endanger the public's health through impairment of its drinking water (Roseberry, 1964). During the period 1958–60, about 291,000 people visited the lake annually. During the summer months, about 22 per cent were sightseeing, 19 per cent picnicking, 16 per cent swimming, 14 per cent fishing, 11 per cent boating, 6 per cent camping, and 4 per cent water ski-ing (8 per cent unclassified).

In another study (Stevens, 1966) methods were developed to study the relation between angler success and sport fishery recreational values. The angler success as a unit of effort was studied with regard to three sport fisheries at Yaquina Bay in Oregon. It was found that a 10 per cent increase in salmon angling success would induce a long-run increase in angling effort of approximately 10 per cent. For bottom fish like sea perch and starry flounder, it was found that angling effort was less responsive to changes in success.

Of special interest in Stevens' treatment of data, e.g. “Demand functions and success ‘elasticities’ for each fishery were used to estimate the decrease in net economic value associated with a pollution-induced reduction in angling success. The methodology may also apply to evaluation of measures which would increase angling success, such as investment in hatcheries” ](II. 2.19).

4.5 Sport Fishing in Man-Made Lakes

In the long-term planning of outdoor recreation, man-made lakes will play an important röle. The ORRRC recognized this, and, after evaluation, detailed plans were developed for a high rate use and construction of man-made lakes for recreational purposes (II. 2.12). A well-planned use of man-made lakes can give a very high outcome of recreation, e.g. rod days per acre. Expenditures are high and can be an important source of income for single owners and local areas (II. 1.7).

Many reports have been published about the planning of farm ponds, small and large reservoirs. A fairly large part of the discussion is reflected in various abstracts in this report (II. 2.21).

The research in recreational management of man-made lakes is very important. The principle of multiple use has been developed and refined. Year-round fishing as an accepted rule, at least for warm-water species, is based on ecological research on the large multi-purpose reservoirs of the Tennesses Valley Authority (Stroud, 1966). To solve the water-use conflicts in recreation, several principles of zoning have been developed in terms of area, time or some combination of these. Recreational use of reservoirs for domestic use with proper planning is not dangerous for public health (see 4.4 and Roseberry, 1964). The production of recreation, e.g. rod days per acre annually, can be very high with modern management principles and catch of 173 lb per acre and 440 fishing trips per sore are reported (Stroud, 1966).


Outdoor recreation is a large and rapidly expanding field of activity, and sport fishing is one of the largest. It has a high value in terms of physical and mental health, and gains strong support in empirical planning at state level.

Expenditure in sport fishing is very great and an important source of income for the owners of the supply, from “natural” to artificial forms like farm ponds and reservoirs.

Sport fishing, as a form of use of our waters, is rapidly gaining a place among the main uses of our waters, e.g. domestic use, industrial use like waste disposal and hydro-power, commercial fishing, and other forms of recreational use such as bathing and boating. In some countries, when conditions are suitable (supply of fish, distance, etc.), sport fishing is often more important than commercial fishing (in economical and social terms) in the use of inland and coastal waters, natural and artificial. In many cases, however, sport and commercial fisheries can co-exist successfully.

One of the main purposes of EIFAC's initiative in encouraging the economic evaluation of sport fisheries is to give interested persons a wealth of information which should promote better understanding of the problems and encourage action in the right direction.

I feel that it is necessary to continue this work and therefore suggest a programme that will guarantee a flow of information to the member countries of EIFAC. The programme is divided into three parts: documentation, research, and co-ordination.

5.1 Documentation and Information

An Information Centre should be organised for the European area in collaboration with North American research workers, preferably within the EIFAC Secretariat, to assist member countries on various subjects such as methodology, bibliography for special projects, and to promote contacts with experts.

To ensures the good functioning of this Information Centre, it is suggested that:

  1. a small working party should, on a continuing basis, collect data on socio-economic evaluation of fishery resources (both commercial and sport), compile literature and prepare excerpts and abstracts;

  2. meetings and round-table discussions, including North American experts, should be organised to facilitate the exchange of information and experience between countries and experts;

  3. an Information Magasine, similar to the Sport Fishery Institute (SFI) Bulletin (U.S.A.), or a section of such a magasine, should be devoted to the dissemination of the expanding flow of documentation on this topic;

  4. contacts should be established with European consumer organization such as sport fishing or tourist associations, and particularly with the Confédération Internationale de la Pêche Sportive (CIPS);

  5. a simple survey technique should be devised to collect standardised and comparative data on evaluation, use, regulations, etc., and main problems.

5.2 Research

Research and field work should be encouraged in general, but particularly in the field of behaviouristic sciences (economics, sociology, psychology, etc.) as this field is lagging behind in the study of recreation and sport fishing.

An interscience team composed of biologists, technicians and social scientists should be formed to pursue research and develop planning models.

5.3 Co-ordination

Future studies in recreational fishing in Europe should be co-ordinated with other outdoor recreation economic studies in multiple-use planning studies of commercial fisheries, studies of other use of water resources, studies in management and planning, and studies of man-made lakes.

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