Angler apps as a source of recreational fisheries data: opportunities, challenges and proposed standards

Paul A. Venturelli, Kieran Hyder, Christian Skov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

134 Scopus citations


Recreational fisheries surveys are limited in time and place in many countries. This lack of data limits scientific understanding and sustainable management. Smartphone applications (apps) allow anglers to record the details of their fishing trips and catches. In this study, we describe the opportunities and challenges associated with angler apps as a source of recreational fisheries data, and propose minimum standards for data collection via angler apps. Angler apps are a potentially valuable source of conventional and novel data that are both frequent and extensive, and an opportunity to engage anglers through data sharing and citizen science. Realizing this potential requires that we address significant challenges related to angler recruitment and retention, data quality and bias, and integration with existing fisheries programmes. We propose solutions to each of these challenges. Given that the angler app market is diverse, competitive and unpredictable, we emphasize minimum standards for data collection as a way to ensure large and reliable data sets that can be compared and integrated across apps. These standards relate to trips and catches, and angler demographics and behaviour, and should be supported through consultation and research. Angler apps have the potential to fundamentally change how anglers interact with the resource and with management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)578-595
Number of pages18
JournalFish and Fisheries
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Paul Venturelli was funded through the University of Minnesota. Kieran Hyder was supported by Defra project MI001 ‘Recreational Sea Angling Surveys’, and MF1223 ‘Citizen Science Investigations’. Christian Skov was supported by The Danish Angling Licence Funds. This work was presented initially at the 2015 European Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture Council Conference in Lillehammer, Norway. Figure illustrations by Penny Forester.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd


  • Apps
  • bias
  • fisheries-dependent data
  • recreational
  • smartphone
  • standards


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