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Govt to study recreational fishing this summer

Government plans to carry out a study on recreational fishing this summer to determine its impact on the local fish population.

According to a 2008 study, as many as 16,000 people in Bermuda fish recreationally almost two-thirds of the number of commercial fishermen.

Senior marine resources officer Tammy Trott said the study is important for proper management of the reef and pelagic fish stocks.

“Bermuda is an isolated island and research has shown that our coral reef fish populations must largely sustain themselves, with only occasional inputs of new individuals from elsewhere,” she said in the latest edition of Envirotalk, a newsletter produced by the Environment Ministry.

“This means that if these populations are overfished and cannot produce enough juveniles to maintain themselves, their recovery would most likely be slow, and some species might not recover at all.”

In order to gain more information, this summer the Ministry will begin by carrying out interviews to determine fishing habits, species being targeted, and the number of fish caught.

They will also ask about attitudes to potential licencing schemes or regulations.

Voluntary logbooks are already available at the Department's Botanical Gardens and Coney Island offices for those who want to help provide information by detailing their catches year-round.

International studies have shown that recreational fishing in some areas can actually have just has much impact as commercial fishing operations, Dr Trott said.

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Published March 18, 2011 at 10:32 am (Updated March 18, 2011 at 10:32 am)

Govt to study recreational fishing this summer

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