Probability-based surveying using self-sampling to estimate catch and effort in Norway’s coastal tourist fishery
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Recreational fishing as a tourist activity has become an increasingly important part of the Norwegian travel industry and may contribute significantly to the fishing mortality on Norwegian coastal cod (Gadus morhua). Quantifying catches in the tourist fishery is made difficult by Norway's intricate and long coastline, and the lack of a fishing licence system, a registry of businesses catering for fishing tourists, and a registry of charter boats. A probability-based survey was used to estimate annual catch and effort by boat for anglers associated with 445 tourist-fishing businesses during 2009. From a stratified random sample of businesses, fishing tourists were recruited systematically over time to record their daily catch and effort in diaries. Cod dominated the reported landed catch (harvest) north of 62°N, and saithe and mackerel dominated south of 62°N. The estimated total landed catch of all species taken by tourist fishers in the business sector during 2009 was 3335 t (relative standard error, RSE = 17%), of which 1613 t (RSE = 22%) were cod. It is concluded that surveys based on self-sampling can yield accurate estimates of catch and effort accounted for by the business sector of the Norwegian tourist fishery and that the tourist catch of coastal cod is insignificant compared with the commercial and recreational catch by local residents.