|Who is the recreational fisherman and what does he catch? An overview of recreational fisheries at sea in Belgium|
Persoon, K. (2015). Who is the recreational fisherman and what does he catch? An overview of recreational fisheries at sea in Belgium. MSc Thesis. ILVO/VLIZ: Oostende. 74 pp.
Marine recreational fisheries have become a hot topic in research, their impact is slowly being recognized by the scientific community and policymakers alike. Belgium, with the exception of some sparse research, has been left behind by its neighboring countries when it comes to identifying the recreational fisheries sector and its impacts. Through the means of a survey both in online and paper form, a variety of data was gathered. The survey reached predominantly anglers within the sector, and as such our conclusions are mainly valid for them. From this data, we are able to demonstrate that although recreational fishing is a hobby primarily done by older men, it does appeal to the entire spectrum of society. Also the economic value of the sector proved to be important: several businesses directly depend on it, both at the coast and inland. Furthermore, it is discovered that wind farms enjoy a reserve-like status in Belgium, acting like nursing grounds, owing this to their legal protection. Finally the catches mainly revolve around 7 species, and for some of these, like G. morhua and D. labrax, they are quite substantial when compared to commercial landings in the ICES IVc region (36,3% and 51,2% respectively).