General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean - GFCM

Pilot studies for harmonized recreational fisheries data collection

Recreational marine fisheries are an integral part of Mediterranean and Black Sea coastal life and are commonly practiced throughout the region. However, despite their ubiquity and the socio-economic contribution they make in some areas, recreational fisheries are a data-poor sector. Data collection programmes to monitor their impact are limited and vary widely from one country to another, which makes it difficult to integtrate the recreational sector into policy-making, and undermines sustainable fisheries management planning at the regional level.  

In order to improve data collection for recreational fisheries at the regional level, a handbook has been developed to provide a clear and harmonized framework for sampling and survey monitoring schemes for the sector. This handbook is being tested through pilot studies in five different countries (one per GFCM subregion), representing diverse geographic and economic scenarios. There are two phases to the pilot studies: the first aims to build a statistical picture of recreational fishers at the national level, while the second focuses on collecting catch, effort and socio-economic data over the course of a full year. Based on the results of these pilot studies, and input from the experts of the Working Group on Recreational Fisheries (WGRF), it may be foreseen to extend these studies to additional countries.  


  • Pilot the Handbook for data collection on recreational fisheries in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea in diverse geographic and economic scenarios.
  • Improve the collection of catch, effort and socio-economic data on recreational fisheries 


  • Development and publication of a standard methodology for the collection of recreational fisheries data, facilitating harmonized sampling and survey monitoring schemes at the regional level
  • Capacity-building for national experts on the collection and analysis of recreational fisheries data 
  • Support for the integration of recreational fisheries data in fisheries management discussions
  • Presentation of results to the SAC subregional committees to inform technical recommendations for the management of recreational fisheries