ICES Annual Science Conference 2019

Theme session Q

Balancing the social, economic, and ecological impacts of small-scale and recreational fisheries

Tuesday, 10 September
10:30 - 18:00
Room G1

​​​​​​​​​​​​Small-scale and recreational fisheries are economically, socially, and culturally important for coastal communities. Yet, these fisheries are often poorly characterized and ineffectively integrated in to fisheries monitoring and management, even though they can have a significant impact on fish stocks. 

​​There are common and significant challenges associated with monitoring, management, and enforcement in both recreational and commercial small-scale fisheries. These challenges include a diverse sector that targets a range of species (e.g. shellfish, molluscs, finfish) using a variety of gears (e.g. nets, pots, traps, spears, hand gathering), and has large temporal and spatial variation in effort. Behavioural responses to management are likely to be varied due to this diversity, as are the motivations for fishing. However, the lack of integration of small-scale and recreational fisheries into fisheries governance processes could affect our ability to manage fisheries sustainably. In addition, these fisheries generally occur in inshore areas bringing them into conflict with each other, but also with other uses of the marine environment.

For effective governance of small-scale and recreational fisheries, it is important to incorporate the diverse nature of natural resource users in regional sampling programs and multi-annual management plans. New approaches are needed that both take into account the economic impact and quantify social benefits. Balancing the competing demands of biological sustainability, economic value, and social benefits is essential to maximize the utility of fisheries, but is difficult to achieve.

The objective of this session is to bring together research and opinions about recreational and commercial small-scale fisheries from across the globe to highlight the current evidence-base and identify future opportunities to make progress in this field. The conveners invite contributions on monitoring, assessment, impact on stocks, management, economics, competition, social and cultural dimension, and can address any of the following topics:


  • Governance structures that incorporate small-scale and recreational fisheries into ecosystem management and sustainable development goals
  • Assessing the social and cultural benefits of small-scale and recreational fisheries, including the trade-offs between social, economic, and ecological impacts, and the implications for management
  • Current (e.g. surveys) and novel approaches (e.g. apps, web-based, webcams, citizen science) to monitoring, and regional sampling methodologies
  • Methods for inclusion of small-scale and recreational fisheries in stock assessment that account for uncertainty
  • Assessment of the impact of environmental change on small-scale and recreational fisheries, including both impact and new fishing opportunities
  • Understanding fisher motivations and behaviour, and novel approaches for inclusion in management​


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Kieran Hyder (UK)
Harry V. Strehlow (Germany)
Cristina Pita (Portugal)


Johanna Ferretti (Germany)​​​

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Theme session Q

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