IMIS | Lifewatch regional portal

You are here


[ report an error in this record ]basket (0): add | show Print this page

Recreatieve zeevisserij in België anno 2019 - Feiten en cijfers
Verleye, T.; Vanelslander, B.; Dauwe, S.; Torreele, E. (2020). Recreatieve zeevisserij in België anno 2019 - Feiten en cijfers. VLIZ Beleidsinformerende Nota's, 2020_008. Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ): Oostende. ISBN 9789464206036. 32 pp.
Part of: VLIZ Beleidsinformerende Nota's. Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ): Oostende. ISSN 2295-7464, more
Related to:
Verleye, T.; Dauwe, S.; van Winsen, F.; Torreele, E. (2019). Recreatieve zeevisserij in België anno 2018 - Feiten en cijfers. VLIZ Beleidsinformerende Nota's, 2019_002. Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ): Oostende. ISBN 978-94-920-4372-6. 86 pp., more

Available in  Authors | Dataset 
Document type: Annual report


Authors  Top | Dataset 

    Belgian marine recreational fisheries were extensively described for the first time in 2019 (focus year: 2018). As no licensing system applies and there is no landing obligation, detailed information was not previously available. In recent years, Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) and the Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (ILVO) have developed a tailor-mademethodology that provides a scientifically based answer to the knowledge gaps with respect to this activity. This method mainly focuses on field observations and active participation from the recreational sea fishing community, in which transparent communication and mutual trust form the key values. The past year, however, a decrease in the level of activity of the participants was detected. Therefore, preventing a further dropout is a point of attention for the near future. Marine recreational fisheries in Belgium are diverse in nature. Seven different techniques are distinguished within the framework of this study: (1) boat angling, (2) boat trawling, (3) angling from a dam/jetty, (4) angling from the beach/breakwater, (5) wading using a small shrimp net, (6) passive beach fishing and (7) horseback shrimp fishing. However, for the latter, no catch data are available for the current data collection period. The current report focuses exclusively on fishing effort and catch data for 2019, comparingthem with the situation in 2018. Due to script optimisations made over the past year, the 2018 data differ slightly from the previously reported values in Verleye et al. (2019). In total, 5,700 boat trips (86,000 fishing hours on a personal level) were undertaken with angling boats and 2,000 with trawlers (15,000 fishing hours on a personal level) in 2019. This represents a decrease of 28% compared to 2018. For beach-related fishing activities, the reduction in fishing effort on an annual level was estimated at around 8%, compared to 2018. The highest fishing effort is related to passive beach fishing (50,000 fishing hours), followed by anglers from a dam/jetty (29,000 fishing hours), beach anglers (27,000 fishing hours), waders (12,700 fishing hours) and horseback shrimp fishers (2,900 fishing hours). In 2019, marine recreational fishers caught 890,000 fish in the Belgian part of the North Sea, of which 55% were retained, accounting for 114.5 tonnes. In addition, 35.6 tonnes of brown shrimp were landed, representing a total recreational catch of 150.2 tonnes in 2019, i.e. a 39% decrease compared to 2018 (246.6 tonnes). The limited discarding of oversized fish indicates a recreational sea fishing practice for personal consumption and less from a catch-and-release perspective. In terms of landing volume, the main species are brown shrimp (24%), whiting (20%), mackerel (19%), dab (14%), sole (9%) and sea bass (8%). With landings of 90.8 tonnes, boat anglers account for 60% of the total volume of fishery products landed, followed by boat trawlers (30.5 tonnes), anglers from a dam/jetty (12.3 tonnes), beach anglers (8.0 tonnes), waders (5.7 tonnes) and passive beach fisheries (2.8 tonnes). Sea bass and mackerel are the only species with a higher total catch (retained + discards) and higher landings compared to 2018, despite the lower fishing effort. The increase in landings of sea bass (+1,200%) is largely due to the gradual relaxation of strict European measures to protect the sea bass stock. On the other hand, the increase in the total catch (+74%) might be a first positive signal concerning the evolution of the seabass stock off the Belgian coast, although it is too early today to make any firm pronouncements in this respect. A further monitoring of the multi-annual evolution is therefore recommended.The largest decreases in landings compared to 2018 are for cod (-90%) and brown shrimp (-61%). The reduction in recreational landings of shrimp follows the reduction in commercial landings by Belgian fishing vessels (also -50% compared to 2018). Due to the high annual variability, this is probably more of a temporary phenomenon. On the other hand, the population of cod in the southern North Sea has been in continuous decline for ten years. This accelerated and extremely sharp decline over the past year is therefore worrying and confirms the earlier telephone and written reports of stock decline received by recreational fishermen. This trend therefore raises questions about the effectiveness of the current recovery measures for cod stocks in the southern North Sea.

  • Belgian recreational fisheries monitoring, more

All data in the Integrated Marine Information System (IMIS) is subject to the VLIZ privacy policy Top | Authors | Dataset