Perceptions about suitable fisheries management directions can differ between anglers and fisheries managers. Opposing beliefs, attitudes and norms about how to manage a local fishery can in turn create conflict. Within a system of community-held local fishing rights, typical for central Europe, the interaction of anglers and locallevel fisheries managers is particularly strong and direct because the managers are typically elected members of the local angling communities that are organized in clubs. In this role local fisheries managers are responsible for decisions about management measures, such as stocking or harvest regulations. Our objectives were to assess the perceived objectives, beliefs and attitudes towards a range of management-relevant issues, while contrasting anglers and elected fisheries managers in the context of German fishing clubs. Based on three large mail surveys conducted between 2010 and 2018 and including a total of 3112 anglers and 314 elected fisheries managers from the Federal State of Lower Saxony (north-western Germany) we found that anglers and fisheries managers both supported conservation objectives and held strong pro-stocking beliefs, which was particularly pronounced among anglers. Both groups significantly differed in their pro-ecological beliefs and the perceived functionality of habitat management and harvest regulations relative to fish stocking. Fisheries managers considered habitat enhancement and harvest regulations to deliver greater benefits than stocking compared to anglers. Both groups also differed in their behavioural intention to alter stocking practices, particularly with respect to the stocking of large and adult fish, which was desired by anglers, but on average rejected by fisheries managers in favour of the release of smaller fish. Our work shows that even within the traditional practice of fish stocking, anglers and fisheries managers differ in their perceptions. Engaging in decisions that deviate from the perception of anglers is prone to create conflicts. Harmonization of perspectives maybe possible through joint experiments in fisheries management at the club level, aiming to collectively learn about successes and risks of traditional and novel management approaches.
Do anglers and managers think similarly about stocking, habitat management and harvest regulations? Implications for the management of community-governed recreational fisheries
Klefoth, T., Wegener, N., Meyerhoff, J., Arlinghaus, R. 2023. Do anglers and managers think similarly about stocking, habitat management and harvest regulations? Implications for the management of community-governed recreational fisheries. Fisheries Research, 260, 106589.
Erschienen in : Fisheries Research, 260, 106589