Recreational fisheries (REC) have a great impact on marine ecosystems and create conflicts with other human coastal activities such as commercial small-scale fisheries (SSF). In the proposed Taza marine protected area (MPA) (Algeria, SW Mediterranean), recreational boat fishing is poorly regulated and its catches remain unmonitored. In addition, a significant number of REC fishers sell their catch illegally.

This study evaluated the potential conflicts between recreational illegal fishing and commercial fisheries aiming to provide baseline data for setting up sound fisheries management and conservation plans.

The results show that the proportion of the harvest attributed to illegal REC represented about 50% of the SSF harvest. The authors state that illegal REC in the proposed Taza MPA is an important socioeconomic activity which is intensively practiced throughout the year. There is a strong competition between recreational and professional fishers for the natural sources, 81% of the 54 caught taxa were present in the catches of both fishing categories and 4 species of high commercial value were caught exclusively by recreational fishers.

The study stresses that the managers of the proposed Taza MPA must address and regulate all fishing activities and use the best available information in order to provide important benefits to marine ecosystems, fishers, and the local population.

Boubekri et al. (2020) Baseline data for marine protected areas planning and fisheries monitoring: Potential conflicts between recreational IUU and commercial fisheries in the proposed “Taza” MPA (Algeria, SW Mediterranean). Ocean and Coastal Management