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Preparing for a changing future in recreational fisheries: 100 research questions for global consideration emerging from a horizon scan


Recreational fisheries hold immense ecological, social, and economic value. The management of these fisheries is increasingly important as we move forward in the Anthropocene. Recreational fisheries managers face several challenges as fisheries often involve diverse social and ecological systems comprised of complex feedback and stakeholder motivations and needs. Here, we used a horizon scanning exercise to yield 100 research questions related to recreational fisheries science and management in the Anthropocene. Initial research questions (n = 205) were collected from recreational fisheries experts (i.e., stakeholders, managers, researchers) from various sectors (i.e., industry, government, NGOs) and geographic locations (14 countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, USA). These questions were subsequently categorized, thematized, and refined by our authorship team, eventually yielding what we considered to be the top 100 research questions of relevance to management of recreational fisheries. The key themes include: human dimensions; bioeconomics; resource monitoring and data acquisition; governance; management—regulatory actions; management—stock and habitat enhancement; catch-and-release; impacts of recreational fisheries on populations, communities and ecosystems; threats and sustainability; and angler outreach, education and engagement. It is our intention that this comprehensive and forward-looking list will create a framework to guide future research within this field, and contribute to evidence-based recreational fisheries management and policy.

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We would like to thank the Fisheries Section of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry for their input while refining this manuscript. Cooke is supported by the Canada Research Chairs Program, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and Genome BC. Brownscombe is supported by a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship and Bonefish and Tarpon Trust. Potts is supported by the South African National Research Foundation through their Rated Researcher Grant Program. Arlinghaus received funding through the European Union (European Maritime and Fisheries Fund) and the State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Germany) (Grant MV-I.18-LM-004, B 730117000069), and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Grants 01LC1826E and 033W046A).

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Holder, P.E., Jeanson, A.L., Lennox, R.J. et al. Preparing for a changing future in recreational fisheries: 100 research questions for global consideration emerging from a horizon scan. Rev Fish Biol Fisheries (2020).

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  • Recreational fisheries
  • Fisheries management
  • Global fisheries
  • Research priorities
  • Biodiversity
  • Conservation