Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography

2010 Spring Seminar Series

"Recreational fishing: Is it really relevant? Are the methods developed by commercial fisheries useful
for understanding recreational fisheries?"

Miguel Palmer
Mediterranean Institute for Advance Studies/Center for Quantitative Fisheries Ecology

Monday, March 29, 2010
3:30 PM
Room 3200, Innovation Research Park Building I


Recreational fishing in developed countries is clearly relevant. For certain species, the total recreational catch has been estimated to be at least similar to those from artisanal (small scale) commercial fishing. At the Balearic Islands, recreational fishing is an increasing activity and currently involves thousands of practitioners. Conversely, commercial fishing is declining. Economic revenues from the recreational fishery are probably larger than those from artisanal fishery. The effects of recreational fishing on fish are clear. Fish populations from sites submitted to high recreational fishing pressure display the same "syndrome" as those populations subjected to intense commercial fishing, which is characterized by smaller sizes, younger fish, sexual maturity at earlier ages, different growth pattern, and changes in species composition. Some of the methods developed to assess commercial fisheries are fully applicable to recreational fishing, but with some key differences. First, for commercial fisheries, some institutional control of catches is exerted. For example, temporal series of catches are usually available. Second, recreational fishers are not motivated by economical issues and, thus, they are not affected by the marked fish rules. This implies, for example, that between-fisher variability in catches is huge and total catches become very hard to estimate. Some of the methods that are currently under development at the Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (IMEDEA) for assessing recreational fishing and its effects will be described. These methods include estimating fish fitness from asymmetry, estimating fishing effort from censuses, and estimating fish movement.


Dr. Palmer received a Ph.D. in Biology from Balearic Island University in Spain. He joined the Ichthyology group at IMEDEA (Mallorca, Spain) in 2004 and received a tenured post at the National Public Research Council (CSIC) in 2006. His main research interest is coastal recreational fishing in the Balearic Islands Sea.

Reception before seminar at 3:00 PM

Old Dominion University Homepage Innovation Research Park Building I
4111 Monarch Way, 3rd Floor
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, VA 23508
CCPO Homepage

Updated on 03/12/2010.
This page is maintained by Julie R. Morgan
Copyright Info: Old Dominion University 2010