All Italian Recreational Sea Fishers to be Registered this Spring

The Italian authorities want to get a better insight into the number of recreational sea fishers and the kind of fishing they perform. This will enable them to be better able to meet data collection requirements from EU legislation and to collect some basic information for figuring out what additional information and measures might be needed for Italian sea fisheries management.

At present recreational sea fishermen in Italy don´t need a license. The present initiative is not introducing licenses instead it will be free of charge mandatory registration scheme. The registered sea fisher gets a certificate as proof of registration. It is free of charge for those who register on time. However, if the fisherman is caught after the 1 May without having registered then he/she will have ten days to register in order to avoid penalties.

EFTTA is happy to see the Italian authorities showing some genuine interest in the recreational fishing sector. We hope they are not just interested in catch data but also take into account the socio economic impact as well as the jobs created by the recreational fishing sector, in particular from sea angling – rod and line.

We would like to take the opportunity to urge the Italian Ministry not to overlook the provisions and requirements for socio-economic data as requested by EU legislative acts like the Data Collection Regulation, the Fisheries Control Regulation, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and other binding or non-binding provisions in other acts of relevance to fisheries management, spatial planning, rural development and tourism.

This will make sure that the Recreational Fishing Sector will be treated in its own right, on an equal footing with commercial fishing, for its good value and contribution by recreational fishers, local communities and the society as a whole.

In fact EU and Member States ought to team up regularly to produce all-European socio-economic studies of recreational sea and freshwater fishing like what has been happening in the USA every five year since 1955. Ideally once every three years would be preferable in Europe.  By co-ordinating efforts across borders better data can be provided, at more regular intervals and more cost effectively.

We would also like to stress that “recreational fishing” is a generic term, which covers several kinds of recreational fishing (e.g. anglers/rod and line, nets, pots, long-lines, spearfishing). These different segments should be identified and dealt with in their own right when working out provisions, data collection and research schemes for the recreational fishing sector.

Finally, we are a puzzled why the Ministry has changed the wording (5 February) on the registration page from “Pesca sportive e ricreativa” to “Pesca sportiva”. It is evident that this new registration scheme is for all recreational sea fishers to sign up to, not sport fishers only.