WGRFS supplies recreational fishery data and estimates for ICES stock assessment and advisory processes, operating within its quality assurance framework and responding to the requirements of the EU Data Collection Framework (DCF) and other drivers. As such, the group is a forum for the planning and coordination of recreational fisheries data collection and analysis.
Worldwide, many people take part in marine recreational fishing, and it is of large economic and social value, playing an important role in removing biomass from stocks. A major issue for surveys is the need to minimize potential sources of bias such as undercoverage of the recreational fishing population, nonresponse of individuals selected for sampling, and poor recall of fishing trips by respondents.
Members of WGRFS discuss and develop national surveys to obtain reliable, consistent and comparable catch and effort data. As well as biological data, the group also highlights the importance of data for evaluating the economic and social value of recreational sea fishing.
WGRFS participants come from most European member states as well as Norway, USA, and Australia. The group strongly emphasizes the need to engage stakeholders during survey design and implementation.