Sportfishing in the Canary Islands:
The number of recreational angler licenses in the Canary Islands nearly trebled between 2005 and 2010, from 15,000 to 37,500 licenses. Currently, there are more than 130,000 Licenses for the three different typesof recreational fishing in the Canary Island Archipelgo: angling from the shore, fishing from a boat and spearfishing(Jimenez-Alvarado 2016). In addition, there are 50 registered sportfishing charter vessels in the Canary Islands, who take paying clients on fishingtrips. Thesetripslastforaround 6-8 hours and normally target pelagic sportfish (e.g. tuna), but a number of fish, rays and sharks can be accidentally caught during this process, including the Angelshark, before they are carefullyreturned to the water.
Why do we work with sportfishers:
The sportfishing industry provides an important number of jobs and plays a key rolein the Canary Island economy and culture. The Angel Shark Project decided from an early stage that it was crucial to work with sportfishers, to find a way of reducing their impact on Angelsharks and other elasmobranchs.
Effective conservation and management of an endangered species such as the Angelshark, requires the collaboration among a variety of different stakeholders. Conservation measures are often only successfulif those that are causing athreat are involved in the development and implementation of any changes needed.
Why did we develop the best-practice guide?
Through regular awareness raising meetings and discussiongroups in Gran Canaria and Tenerife, we have developed a best-practice guide to catch and release alongside the sportfishing community to increase elasmobranchsurvivalwhenthey are returned to the water after being accidentally caught. Theguidetakesyouthroughallthe stages of the catch and release process toshow the actions you need to take to increase elasmobranch survival.
Look out for our new responsible fishing logo on the side of sportfishing boats that are following this guide and helping to secure the future of Angelsharks in the Canary Islands.
Which sportfisher charter boats are involved?
Gran Canaria: Fish On (Pasito Blanco), Blue Marlin, White Marlin, Cavalier and El Dorado (Puerto Rico)
Fuerteventura: The YellowFin, Hammerhead and Albakora (Morro Jable), Albakora Cat (El Castillo), Blue nose, Corralejo Fishing and Ressaca fishing charter (Corralejo).
Tenerife: The Crested Wave, Yate Sofía and Big Game Fishing (Los Cristianos), The Rodfather, Happy Hooker, Golden Marlin and Dootsy Too (Puerto Colón).
Why do we ask for a camera?
Before handing out this guide we have briefed sport fishers about the critical status of the angel shark and their vulnerability. A camera is useful for us to:
1) verify that the best practice guidelines have been used
2) to register the sighting and position where the animal was caught to http://www.angelsharkproject.com . This information is vital to feed into our ongoing research on angel shark ecology and distribution in the Archipelago.
We would like to thank all the sportfishers in Gran Canaria and Tenerife who have taken part in this project and the Disney Conservation Fund for their support.