The potential impact and socio-political importance of recreational fisheries may be relevant in some ecosystems, local communities and civil society. Therefore, these effects need to be taken into account to maintain healthy ecosystems and to ensure the wellbeing of local fishermen.
Since the 1970s, recreational fishing has become a mass hobby in Italy and it has increased its harvesting capacity, provoking serious conflicts with professional fisheries. Recreational fishing is strictly regulated inside Italian Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).
This study was aimed to provide an analysis of recreational fishing activities within the Portofino MPA (Italy), to assess the possible impact on the local fish stocks and to plan potential management actions.
The authors highlight that after 15 years of protection the fish biomass has notably increased within the Portofino MPA, generating a positive spillover effect. But at the same time, it has attracted many anglers whose gross harvesting was estimated at about 8 tons per year, which represents about the 8% of the total yield of the local small-scale fishery. It is also highlighted that although anglers in Potofino MPA are obliged to fill out a logbook, the compilation of these was not completely satisfactory, when compared to a group of reliable anglers whose catches were accurately monitored.
It is concluded that some management measures are necessary, together with a monitoring program to follow this activity, as well as promoting sensitization among anglers, whose acceptance of protection measures is key to measuring the effectiveness of each MPA.
Venturini S, Campodonico P, Cappanera V, Fanciulli G, Cattaneo Vietti R (2017) Recreational fisheries in Portofino Marine Protected Area, Italy: Some implications for the management. Fisheries Management and Ecology 24:382-391