Why report catches with the RecFishing program?
The RecFishing program is a project sponsored by the European Commission in 2019/2020. This program, developed by FishFriender, has been available to the public since October 2020. It aims to encourage recreational fishermen to report their catches of sensitive species such as sea bass, cod, sea bream and Atlantic salmon. The objective is to allow fishermen at sea to declare their catches easily, without changing their habits, in order to report the data to the European level. These data, centralized and anonymized, are essential to better study sensitive species and help to take fair actions regarding the protection of stocks.
Is the declaration of catches compulsory?
I fish for seabass for leisure, do I have to declare my catches on RecFishing? No, the declaration of catches of sea bass, cod, sea bream or salmon is not mandatory, whether the fish is released or not. But by declaring your catches, you help to collect essential information on our activity of recreational fishermen, and therefore to better protect the resource. As fishermen, protectors of aquatic ecosystems, we must be transparent about our practices, so that the competent authorities can take appropriate and consistent measures concerning the protection of sensitive species. This is the only way to avoid being subjected to overly restrictive and unfair decisions, taken when there is no data to compare the impact of recreational fishing against small-scale commercial fisheries and industrial fishing.
How do I report my catches to the RecFishing program?
The RecFishing program is a data centralization program. Registration is simple and free for any European recreational fisherman. Once your account has been created on the RecFishing.eu site, all you have to do is connect to the FishFriender partner declaration application, and thus easily declare your catches. Go to the "fishing log" section of the FishFriender mobile application to record your catches. If the species you are registering is affected by the program, this will be indicated and the declaration will be confirmed in the app. You will also get a summary of your reported catches, both on the app and on the RecFishing.eu site. FishFriender and the RecFishing program teams will communicate regularly on program statistics, as well as the resulting conclusions / actions.
Is my data safe through the RecFishing program?
The safety and privacy of fishermen is a top priority of the RecFishing program. It is in this spirit that the project was conceived from the start. As a result, no one has access to the individual data of fishermen registered on RecFishing, only to anonymized and aggregated reports. The objective is therefore not to follow the fishermen individually, but to establish global statistics, to better understand the fishing activity.