Assessing the impact of management on sea anglers in the UK using choice experiments

Barnaby Andrews, Silvia Ferrini, Angela Muench, Adam Brown, Kieran Hyder

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11 Citations (Scopus)
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Recreational sea angling is a popular activity generating significant socio-economic benefits but can impact on fish stocks. The motivations of recreational sea anglers go beyond catch, with a diverse range of motivations relating to physical health and well-being. Heterogenous motives and the popularity of catch and release practices mean that applying commercial fisheries management goals (maximum sustainable yield) to recreational fisheries could result in reduced participation, increased non-compliance, and a subsequent loss of both market and non-market values generated through recreational angling activities. Hence, assessment of sea angler preferences for management is important for the development of appropriate management strategies. In this study, a choice experiment was conducted to assess sea anglers' preferences for changes in UK sea angling management measures. Stated preferences for catching, keeping, and releasing fish due to bag limits and minimum-landing sizes were assessed. Willingness to pay (WTP) estimates for marginal changes of catching the first sea bass on a trip were between £11 and £31 depending on whether the fish could be kept or released and between £11 and £28 for cod, respectively. WTP was much higher for fish caught and kept than caught and released suggesting that consumption of fish was an important motivation. Minimum size was the most considered choice attribute for respondents, while cost was less commonly considered. The implications of the findings are discussed in the context of future management of recreational fisheries.
Original languageEnglish
Article number112831
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Early online date1 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2021

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