Expert opinion on using angler Smartphone apps to inform marine fisheries management: Status, prospects, and needs

Christian Skov*, Kieran Hyder, Casper Gundelund, Anssi Ahvonen, Jérôme Baudrier, Trude Borch, Sara Decarvalho, Karim Erzini, Keno Ferter, Fabio Grati, Tessa van der Hammen, Jan Hinriksson, Rob Houtman, Anders Kagervall, Kostas Kapiris, Martin Karlsson, Adam M. Lejk, Jeremy M. Lyle, Roi Martinez-Escauriaza, Pentti MoilanenEstanis Mugerza, Hans Jakob Olesen, Anastasios Papadopoulos, Pablo Pita, João Pontes, Zachary Radford, Krzysztof Radtke, Mafalda Rangel, Oscar Sagué, Hege A. Sande, Harry V. Strehlow, Rūdolfs Tutiņš, Pedro Veiga, Thomas Verleye, Jon Helge Vølstad, Joseph W. Watson, Marc Simon Weltersbach, Didzis Ustups, Paul A. Venturelli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Smartphone applications (apps) that target recreational fishers are growing in abundance. These apps have the potential to provide data useful for management of recreational fisheries. We surveyed expert opinion in 20, mostly European, countries to assess the current and future status of app use in marine recreational fisheries. The survey revealed that a few countries already use app data to support existing data collection, and that this number is likely to increase within 5-10 years. The strongest barriers to use app data were a scarcity of useful apps and concern over data quality, especially biases due to the opt-in nature of app use. Experts generally agreed that apps were unlikely to be a "stand-alone"method, at least in the short term, but could be of immediate use as a novel approach to collect supporting data such as, fisheries-specific temporal and spatial distributions of fishing effort, and aspects of fisher behaviour. This survey highlighted the growing interest in app data among researchers and managers, but also the need for government agencies and other managers/researchers to coordinate their efforts with the support of survey statisticians to develop and assess apps in ways that will ensure standardisation, data quality, and utility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)967-978
Number of pages12
JournalICES Journal of Marine Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2021


  • catch rates
  • citizen science
  • fishing effort
  • human dimensions
  • survey methods


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