General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean - GFCM

Handbook for data collection on recreational fisheries in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea


Marine recreational fisheries are an integral part of Mediterranean and Black Sea coastal life and are commonly practiced throughout the region. However, despite their ubiquity and potential socio-economic contribution, recreational fisheries are a data-poor sector. Data collection programmes to monitor their impact are limited and can vary widely from one country to another, thus impairing proper consideration of the recreational fisheries sector in policy-making and undermining efforts towards sustainable fisheries management at the regional level.

The main goal of this handbook is therefore to provide a clear methodological framework to allow Mediterranean and Black Sea countries to implement suitably harmonized sampling and survey monitoring schemes for recreational fisheries. The handbook consists of five parts. A first section provides an introduction to the recreational fisheries sector in the Mediterranean and Black Sea region, including the rationale for improving data collection. The second section provides guidance on how to set up a data collection programme, including how to define the target population – particularly in the absence of an up-to-date census or complete licensing system – as well as how to select a sample for data collection. Next, in section three, the handbook provides a comprehensive explanation of the harmonized regional methodology for carrying out data collection, including through a combination of on-site and off-site techniques. This section also presents a minimum set of necessary information allowing for monitoring recreational fisheries (namely, fishing effort data, catch data and economic data), while, at the same time, allowing for flexibility to accommodate national specificities and data collection needs. Section four then provides a short primer to guide readers through the data analysis process. A final section highlights the importance of engaging stakeholders in the data collection process and provides advice on how to do so.

Grati, F., Carlson, A., Carpentieri, P. & Cerri, J. 2021. Handbook for data collection on recreational fisheries in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper No 669. Rome, FAO


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