Angler Recruitment, Retention, and Reactivation: The Future of Fisheries and Aquatic Conservation

Chapter 2. Global Participation and Attitudes toward Recreational Angling

Robert Arlinghaus, Øystein Aas, Josep Alos, Ivan Arismendi, Shannon Bower, Steven Carle, Tomasz Czarkowski, Katia M. F. Freire, John Hu, Len M. Hunt, Roman Lyach, Andrzej Kapusta, Pekka Salmi, Alexander Schwab, Jun-ichi Tsuboi, Marek Trella, Daryl McPhee, Warren Potts, Arkadiusz Wołos, and Zi-jiang Yang

doi: https://doi.org/10.47886/9781934874738.ch2

To understand angling participation in a given society, it is worthwhile to ask general questions about societal-level developments that shape the values and interests of citizens to engage in fishing relative to other leisure activities. Similarly, fisheries managers must be alert not only to the expectations of local resource users, but to all citizens whose values and interests will be affected by management actions. In many western countries, for example, biodiversity conservation has become an important societal goal (Arlinghaus et al. 2002; FAO 2012; Rahel 2016), and thus, the appropriateness of a given management action is likely affected by cultural values and the way society thinks about desirable states of nature. Recreational science is well advised to capture these systematic effects of the social embedding of recreational fisheries.

This chapter examines societal-level influences on recreational fisheries by reviewing research on fishing participation rates and philosophical and ethical perspectives on recreational fisheries. Based on a range of case studies in several areas of the world, the social embedding of recreational fisheries is described. Given shared historic backgrounds, it is assumed that there are clusters of countries with specific perspectives towards recreational fisheries and that it is possible to associate these with wider societal-level deployments that shape cultural and moral values in a given country. The core assumption here is that society and cultural values exert direct and indirect effects on fishing participation as well as the public’s perception of the acceptability of fishing practices and management interventions.