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Overturning stereotypes: The fuzzy boundary between recreational and subsistence inland fisheries

June 1, 2022

Inland recreational fisheries provide numerous socio- economic benefits to fishers, families and communities. Recreationally harvested fish are also frequently consumed and may provide affordable and sustainable but undervalued contributions to human nutrition. Quantifying the degree to which recreationally harvested fish contribute to food security and subsistence is impeded by lack of data on harvest and consumption and by the difficulty in differentiating among recreational and subsistence fisheries. Recreational harvest records tend to be limited to wealthy, food- secure countries and well- monitored fisheries with clear regulations or permitting systems. These records often neglect components of recreational harvest among food- insecure fishers who are potentially more likely to have consumption as a motivation. Here, we highlight the ‘fuzzy boundary’ that can exist between inland recreational and subsistence fisheries and argue that unreported consumption is likely to be a hidden contributor to food security in some populations. We draw on local case studies from around the world to highlight specific instances where recreationally harvested fish species contribute food and subsistence benefits to participating communities. We use these examples to highlight the diversity of ways that inland recreational fisheries contribute to human nutrition, knowledge gaps in understanding recreational fishing for food, and consequences of not accounting for them as food fisheries in policy and management. The aim of this paper is to draw the attention of resource managers and policy makers, create greater social awareness of the importance of recreational fisheries and bring to light this hidden contribution of inland fisheries to nutrition and subsistence.

Publication Year 2022
Title Overturning stereotypes: The fuzzy boundary between recreational and subsistence inland fisheries
DOI 10.1111/faf.12688
Authors Elizabeth A. Nyboer, Holly Susan Embke, Ashley Robertson, Robert Arlinghaus, Shannon D. Bower, Claudio Baigun, Douglas Beard, Steve J. Cooke, Ian. G. Cowx, John D. Koehn, Roman Lyach, Marco Milardi, Warren M. Potts, Abigail Lynch
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Fish and Fisheries
Index ID 70237405
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization National Climate Adaptation Science Center