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Benefits and Risks of Adopting the Global Code of Practice for Recreational Fisheries

Arlinghaus, Robert; Beard, T. Douglas; Cooke, Steven J.; Cowx, Ian G.


Robert Arlinghaus

T. Douglas Beard

Steven J. Cooke

Ian G. Cowx


Recreational fishing constitutes the dominant or sole use of many fish stocks, particularly in freshwater ecosystems in Western industrialized countries. However, despite their social and economic importance, recreational fisheries are generally guided by local or regional norms and standards, with few comprehensive policy and development frameworks existing across jurisdictions. We argue that adoption of a recently developed Global Code of Practice (CoP) for Recreational Fisheries can provide benefits for moving recreational fisheries toward sustainability on a global scale. The CoP is a voluntary document, specifically framed toward recreational fisheries practices and issues, thereby complementing and extending the United Nation's Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries by the Food and Agricultural Organization. The CoP for Recreational Fisheries describes the minimum standards of environmentally friendly, ethically appropriate, and-depending on local situations-socially acceptable recreational fishing and its management. Although many, if not all, of the provisions presented in the CoP are already addressed through national fisheries legislation and state-based fisheries management regulations in North America, adopting a common framework for best practices in recreational fisheries across multiple jurisdictions would further promote their long-term viability in the face of interjurisdictional angler movements and some expanding threats to the activity related to shifting sociopolitical norms.


Arlinghaus, R., Beard, T. D., Cooke, S. J., & Cowx, I. G. (2012). Benefits and Risks of Adopting the Global Code of Practice for Recreational Fisheries. Fisheries, 37(4), 165-172.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Apr 24, 2018
Publication Date Apr 19, 2012
Print ISSN 0363-2415
Electronic ISSN 1548-8446
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 37
Issue 4
Pages 165-172
Keywords Aquatic Science; Nature and Landscape Conservation
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