Catch and Release in Marine Recreational Fisheries

The Role of Catch-and-Release Mortality Estimates in the Assessment of Marine Fish Populations

G. R. Shepherd and M. Terceiro

doi: https://doi.org/10.47886/9781888569308.ch32

Catch-and-release fishing has become an increasingly common management tool in marine recreational fisheries. Reduced bag limits, restrictive size limits, and an increasing conservation awareness among fishermen all contribute to the growing number of marine fish subjected to catch and release. Effort by recreational anglers along the Atlantic coast of the United States has averaged 37.8 million trips per year over the past two decades. In some fisheries, recreational discard losses may equal or exceed landings. The conservation benefit of catch-and-release fishing is a function of the hooking mortality associated with the practice. The potential impact of excessive hooking mortality may significantly affect fisheries resources and needs to be considered in stock assessments.