New Recreational Fishing Technologies May Pose Risks to Fisheries


Scientists need to work closely with resource management agencies to assess impacts

New developments in recreational fishing technology—from the use of aerial drones and social media scouting reports to advances in hook design—are creating challenges for fisheries management and effective policy making, according to a new study co-authored by University of Massachusetts Amherst researcher Andy Danylchuk.

With the opening of the spring fishing season, millions of recreational fishing aficionados across North America are dusting off their tackleboxes, fitting together their rods, and heading to the bait and tackle shop to purchase the latest in fish-catching gear. But what impact does all that new technology have on the fish themselves?

“There are still so many unknowns,” says Andy Danylchuk, professor of fish conservation in the UMass Amherst department of environmental conservation, and co-author of a new paper that investigates the relationship between fishing technology and fish ecosystems. “There’s more attention paid to products we use with our pets than to what we use to try to catch fish in our streams, lakes and oceans.”

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Image via University of Massachusetts Amherst