Title

“Plenty of black money”: Netnography of illegal recreational underwater fishing in southern Spain

Date of Publication

2021 12:00 AM

Security Theme

IUU Fishing

Keywords

IUU fishing, fishing reserve, underwater fishing, recreational marine fishing, illegal fishing, netnography

Description

Recreational fishers often oppose the implementation of marine protected areas when they perceive them as a threat to the continuity of their activity or when they understand that their interests are at risk. In this case study we describe the extension of illegal fishing practices in a group of underwater recreational fishers in the area of influence of Cabo Roche, in southern Spain. Since the group was reluctant to participate in the research, the participant observation in situ was complemented by a netnography and the analysis of social network of contacts in online networking sites. To document illegal practices, 429 photographs shared online were analyzed, and the network of friends on Facebook of 61 underwater recreational fishers was drawn. The results showed that illegal practices are widespread in the analyzed group, in which a subculture of black money has emerged that justifies the performance of activities not allowed. It is a highly cohesive group that competes to capture the largest specimens and demonstrate their fishing skills. Recreational fishers perceive that the main beneficiaries of a Marine Reserve of Fishing Interest would be small-scale commercial fishermen. In the conclusions of the study we underline the importance of involving recreational fishermen in the planning processes of marine protected areas, so that their interests are represented and they are committed to compliance with fishing regulations.

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Jan 1st, 12:00 AM

“Plenty of black money”: Netnography of illegal recreational underwater fishing in southern Spain

Recreational fishers often oppose the implementation of marine protected areas when they perceive them as a threat to the continuity of their activity or when they understand that their interests are at risk. In this case study we describe the extension of illegal fishing practices in a group of underwater recreational fishers in the area of influence of Cabo Roche, in southern Spain. Since the group was reluctant to participate in the research, the participant observation in situ was complemented by a netnography and the analysis of social network of contacts in online networking sites. To document illegal practices, 429 photographs shared online were analyzed, and the network of friends on Facebook of 61 underwater recreational fishers was drawn. The results showed that illegal practices are widespread in the analyzed group, in which a subculture of black money has emerged that justifies the performance of activities not allowed. It is a highly cohesive group that competes to capture the largest specimens and demonstrate their fishing skills. Recreational fishers perceive that the main beneficiaries of a Marine Reserve of Fishing Interest would be small-scale commercial fishermen. In the conclusions of the study we underline the importance of involving recreational fishermen in the planning processes of marine protected areas, so that their interests are represented and they are committed to compliance with fishing regulations.