To effectively manage fisheries worldwide, we first need to understand exactly why people fish. And the reasons are many.
In Australia, 96% of recreational fishers cited a connection to the environment as their reason for fishing. Other personal reasons included:Using interviews, researchers from and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies Matthew Young, Simon Foale and David Bellwood explored the motivations of two fisher groups: subsistence/artisanal fishers in the Solomon Islands, and experienced recreational fishers in Australia.
In the Solomon Islands, the most common motivations for fishing were food (100%) and income (93%). However, many fishers said they would continue fishing even if they had alternative income, and many of their motivations overlapped with recreational fishers.
* physical fitness and exercise
* benefits to mental health through escapism
* stress release and relaxation
* the health properties of seafood
* social interactions and bonding with friends and family
* the ability to be outdoors and satisfy their hunter-gatherer instinct
“Fishing provides social benefits to the community through camaraderie, fishing clubs and the sharing of a common interest,” said one Australian fisher. “It also contributes to social cohesion as it crosses social boundaries and encourages unification.”
Young MAL, Foale S, and Bellwood DR (2016) Why do fishers fish? A cross-cultural examination of the motivations for fishing. Marine Policy, 66: 114‒123 (April 2016).
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