Research in Recreational Fisheries

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Recreational fisheries in Central America are vitally important economic contributors and have been responsible for tremendous development along the Pacific Coast where fishers target billfish species.

Guatemala Recreational Fishery Study

Stakeholders in Guatemala’s recreational fishery for billfish have enthusiastically collaborated with the Billfish Research Lab team, and contributed valuable data for use in analysis. Multiple fishing lodges have kept detailed records of their daily catches, and these high-quality Catch per Unit Effort (CPUE) statistics have greatly contributed to our understanding of the resources and opportunities in Guatemala. The fishing lodges have also participated in distributing surveys to clients, helping us better understand the demographics and motivations for fishing-based tourism in Guatemala.

Through this collaboration with stakeholders in Guatemala and other projects, we have described the financial value of the catch and release tourist fishery for billfish, and demonstrated the economic significance of sailfish conservation to the citizens of Guatemala. Our work has directly contributed to the formation of the Guatemala Sailfish Conservation Commission which successfully banned the trade of sailfish products in Guatemala and acts as a government task force to enforce the ban of the sale of sailfish. This is the first of its kind in Guatemala and is a major step in billfish conservation.