Constraints on Sportfishing and Effect of Management Actions to Increase Participation Rates in Fishing


Oystein Aas

North American Journal of Fisheries Management Vol 15:3

An understanding of why people do not fish or do not fish often is needed if participation in fishing is to be encouraged. Knowledge about how different fisheries management actions affect participation rates can provide guidelines in this effort. I investigated constraints on fishing and people's behavioral response to different management actions among residents age 16 and older in the city of Harstad, northern Norway. The sample was divided into four groups based on individual's angling participation (participated or did not participate last year) and angling interest (high or low interest). Lack of time, low energy, child care responsibility, and the perception that fishing is boring were the most important constraints expressed by the public. Lack of knowledge about how to fish and reluctance to kill fish were the least important constraints. However, there were clear differences in constraints among the four groups. Participants reported stronger constraints than nonparticipants. Interested nonparticipants rated child care responsibilities, bad health, and old age more constraining than did the other groups, whereas interested participants rated economic constraints higher. In general, management actions were viewed more favorably by interested participants than by the other groups. These results illustrate the usefulness of segmenting the sample on the basis of participation and interest. Further, they illustrate that nonparticipants and especially low-interest groups are difficult to influence with traditional fisheries management actions.


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