Report of the Workshop on Sampling Methods for Recreational Fisheries (WKSMRF)
WKSMRF was established by the ICES Planning Group on Commercial Catches, Discards and Biological Sampling (PGCCDBS), for the purposes of facilitating European countries in the ICES area to develop sampling programmes for recreational fisheries. EU member States are required to establish such programmes for several key species (cod, European seabass, eels, salmon and bluefin tuna according to ICES area) in order to meet the requirements of the EU Data Collection Framework (EC Regulation 199/2008 and EC Decision 2008/949/EC). Recreational fisheries include angling and the use of “commercial type” gears by non-commercial fishermen.
Populations of recreational fishers to be sampled can be very large, often diffusely distributed and in most cases of unknown magnitude. There may be few or no lists such as licenses or vessel registries to identify populations to be randomly sampled. Surveys may require multiple within-year “waves” of telephone surveys or postal questionnaires to estimate numbers of recreational fishers and their patterns of fishing activities, together with sampling trips to access points to interview fishermen directly and determine the numbers, species composition, mean weight, and length composition of their catches.
The Workshop report provides an overview of the current state-of-the art in designing and implementing recreational fisheries surveys. The necessary elements of a survey programme are described, including methods for improving the quality of data such as dual-frame sampling, telephone diaries and aerial overflight surveys. A major issue for recreational fishery surveys is the need to minimize potential sources of bias such as under-coverage of the recreational fishing population, non-response of individuals selected for sampling, and poor recall of fishing trips by respondents.
A thorough review was conducted of the survey methods that have been used to monitor recreational fishing effort and catch. Both off-site and on-site survey contact methods were examined, and the relative strengths and weaknesses of the different approaches were identified and discussed. The off-site contact methods considered included mail, telephone, and door-to-door surveys, as well as trip-record reporting surveys that utilize diaries, logbooks or catch cards. The on-site methods considered included access point, roving, and aerial surveys. The review emphasized the need to develop and utilize sampling frames that provide both complete and efficient cover-age of the target population, and it pointed to the potential benefits of using more than one frame in a dual-frame or multi-frame approach. It also highlighted the im-portance of using probability sampling designs and developing estimation methods that properly account for those sampling designs. A variety of sampling designs were reviewed that are commonly used to enhance sampling efficiency and improve statis-tical precision. The designs reviewed included simple random sampling, probability-proportional-to-size sampling, stratified random sampling, cluster sampling, and two-stage sampling. The review also looked at a number of the current survey pro-grams in the USA, Australia, New Zealand, and various European countries that combine two or more surveys in a complemented survey design. In many of these programs, different survey methods are used to estimate effort and mean catch per unit of effort, but estimates obtained from both surveys are combined to produce estimates of total catch.
Published under the auspices of the following ICES Steering Group or Committee
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