Popular media records reveal multi-decadal trends in recreational fishing catch rates

Thurstan, Ruth H., Game, Edward and Pandolfi, John M. (2017) Popular media records reveal multi-decadal trends in recreational fishing catch rates. PLoS One, 12 8: . doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0182345


Author Thurstan, Ruth H.
Game, Edward
Pandolfi, John M.
Title Popular media records reveal multi-decadal trends in recreational fishing catch rates
Journal name PLoS One   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2017-08-04
Year available 2017
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0182345
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 12
Issue 8
Total pages 13
Place of publication San Francisco, CA United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Despite threats to human wellbeing from ecological degradation, public engagement with this issue remains at low levels. However, studies have shown that crafting messages to resonate with people’s personal experiences can enhance engagement. Recreational fishing is one of the principal ways in which people interact with aquatic environments, but long-term data from this perspective are considered rare. We uncovered 852 popular media records of recreational fishing for an Australian estuary across a 140-year period. Using information contained in these articles we analysed the species composition of recreational catches over time and constructed two distinct time series of catch and effort (n fish fisher-1 trip-1; kg fish fisher-1 trip-1) for recreational fishing trips and fishing club competitions (mean n and kg fish caught across all competitors, and n and kg fish caught by the competition winner). Reported species composition remained similar over time. Catch rates reported from recreational fishing trips (1900–1998) displayed a significant decline, averaging 32.5 fish fisher-1 trip-1 prior to 1960, and 18.8 fish fisher-1 trip-1 post-1960. Mean n fish fisher-1 competition-1 (1913–1983) also significantly declined, but best n fish fisher-1 competition-1 (1925–1980) displayed no significant change, averaging 31.2 fish fisher-1 competition-1 over the time series. Mean and best kg fish fisher-1 competition-1 trends also displayed no significant change, averaging 4.2 and 9.9 kg fisher-1 competition-1, respectively. These variable trends suggest that while some fishers experienced diminishing returns in this region over the last few decades, the most skilled inshore fishers were able to maintain their catch rates, highlighting the difficulties inherent in crafting conservation messages that will resonate with all sections of a community. Despite these challenges, this research demonstrates that popular media sources can provide multiple long-term trends at spatial scales, in units and via a recreational experience that many people can relate to.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 0 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article
Scopus Citation Count Cited 0 times in Scopus Article
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Tue, 15 Aug 2017, 00:09:26 EST by System User on behalf of School of Biological Sciences