In recent years, the recreational fisheries have been the focus of much debate. This is due to a
number of factors, such as EU policy reform introducing a range of new management measures, increased scarcity of certain stocks, and increasing trends for recreational catches in some countries – all contributing to a feeling of increased conflict of interest/competition between the commercial and the recreational sectors. In the Baltic Sea region, recreational fisheries and their possible impact on the fish stocks and the environment are also high on the agenda. It has led to the establishment of special working groups or efforts on the subject within the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) and HELCOM, and regular discussions at the regional fisheries management fora Baltic Sea Advisory Council (BSAC) and BALTFISH.
The recreational sector is large (in terms of the number of individuals involved), with valid fishing interests which have been somewhat overlooked from a management perspective. In addition, the lack of accessible knowledge and data makes the sector an easy target in the debate about overall fisheries management. With information about the Baltic recreational fisheries still patchy, it is difficult to have an informed discussion about both impacts and possible management measures. Coalition Clean Baltic (CCB) has therefore commissioned a report attempting to provide a better overview, covering a number of aspects related to recreational fisheries in the Baltic Sea region.
Biodiversity and nature conservation, eel, Fisheries and Aquaculture