Heterogeneous public and local knowledge provides a qualitative indicator of coastal use by marine recreational fishers

Graham G. Monkman, Michel J. Kaiser*, Kieran Hyder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Marine recreational fishing (MRF) benefits individuals and economies, but can also impact fish stocks and associated ecosystems. Fish are an important resource providing direct economic benefit through commercial and recreational exploitation, and more esoteric ecosystem services. It is important to consider recreational fishing in marine spatial planning, but spatial information on coastal utilisation for MRF is frequently lacking. Public sources of local knowledge were reviewed and the frequency of unique references to sites extracted. Sites were georeferenced using a gazetteer compiled from the Ordnance Survey and United Kingdom Hydrographic Office named sea features gazetteer and local knowledge sources. Recreational fishing site densities were calculated across 2700 km of coastline and this proxy indicator of coastal utilisation validated against two independent surveys using permutative Monte Carlo sampling to control for sparse and non-independent data. Site density had fair agreement with independent surveys, but standardization by shore length reduced this agreement. Applying a 3 by 3 box filter convolution to the spatial layers improved the agreement between local knowledge derived predictions of activity and those of directed surveys, and permutation testing showed that agreement did not arise as a result of the convolution itself. High and low activity areas were more accurately predicted than areas of intermediate activity. Site density derived from heterogeneous participant and local knowledge can produce qualitative predictions of where recreational fishers fish, and applying a convolution can improve the predictive power of data so derived. However, this approach will be subject to unquantifiable bias and may fail to identify areas highly valued by marine recreational fishers. Thus it should be used in conjunction with other information in decision making and may be best suited to inform the early stage sampling design of on-site surveys or to complement other data sets in mapping areas of importance to recreational fishers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)495-505
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Early online date27 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2018


  • Local knowledge
  • Marine spatial planning
  • Permutation testing
  • Recreational fishing
  • Spatial mapping
  • Wales

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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