Recreational angler satisfaction: what drives it?


Satisfaction is the reward that recreational anglers receive from their experiences, and it constitutes a relevant management target. Angler satisfaction also shapes preferences for regulations, compliance with rules and general angler behaviours. Because of its central role in recreational fisheries management, it is important to understand what drives angler satisfaction. Our objective was to study the catch and non-catch-related determinants of recreational angler satisfaction using a standardized literature search and synthesizing the literature using meta-analytical techniques. After identifying and screening 279 papers, we obtained K = 172 effect sizes extracted from N = 23 studies that met our inclusion criteria. A three-level random-effects model on Pearson's R, derived from studies relating component satisfaction to overall satisfaction assuming a sum-of-satisfaction model, was fitted. The aggregated effect sizes revealed that catch-related (i.e. catch rate, size of caught fish, fish harvest) and two non-catch-related components (i.e. access to fishing sites and crowding) were most related to angler satisfaction. Other non-catch components (e.g. environmental quality, facilities, perception of relaxation quality) also contributed to angler satisfaction but were of less importance, more variable across studies and in some cases not significant (e.g. perceived water quality, quality of social experience). We conclude changes to access to fishing sites, crowding and a reduction in catch qualities, will in many cases produce dissatisfied anglers. In the absence of local studies, focusing management attention on these components can be recommended if the aim is to satisfy anglers or avoid managerial or social issues that emerge from dissatisfied anglers.

Birdsong, M., Hunt, L. M., Arlinghaus, R. (2021). Recreational angler satisfaction: what drives it? Fish and Fisheries, 22, 682-706

Published : 2021
Appeared in : Fish and Fisheries, 22, 682-706