Anglers Mobile App: A mutual service platform between research and citizens (39122)

Project Details

Description

Recreational fishing is an extremely popular pastime in Denmark, with as many as 400.000-500.000 regularly engaging in the activity. In order to secure that fish are available for the anglers and at the same time understand how fish stocks interact with biotic and abiotic factors, knowledge about the fish stocks in Danish lakes, rivers and coastal areas is crucial. However, data gathering on national scale, and at regular intervals is expensive and logistically prohibitive. This lack of data limits scientific understanding as well as sustainable management. Consequently, DTU Aqua has developed a electronic platform where anglers can report their catch in a standardized way for their own pleasure as well as for the benefits of angler clubs and national research on fisheries management.

The "Fangstjournalen" platform consists of a browser version as well as a native mobile app (Iphone and Android). The platform allow anglers to record the details of their fishing trips and catches, but is also used as a vehicle for gaining human dimension information, i.e information about angler distribution as well as aspects of angler motivation and satisfaction.

Angler apps for mobile devices are not new, but the existing market (e.g. FishBrains ; iAngler ; iFish App ) focus on aspects such as "socializing" “curiosity” and “entertainment” more that on gathering the minimum necessary data for use for research, and centralizing it to underpin stock management. The angler app developed by DTU Aqua has several novelty aspects and integrates both catch statistics and human dimension aspects.

During the two years it has taken to develop the platform there has a strong focus on optimizing the scientific value of the data that is sampled, and at the same time recognizing opportunities as well challenges associated with angler mobile apps as a source of recreational fisheries data. For example, catch efficiency of anglers depend on human dimension factors such as skills, gear and experience. The angler should provide this information during registration so researchers can calibrate data. Likewise, in case of blank fishing trips with “no catch”, the anglers should also report to strengthen data quality. To secure such compliance from the anglers, we focus on strong and clear communication from researcher to angler.

The platform was released for the public at the end of 2015, so the outcome of this citizen science project is still in its infantry and uncertain. However the omnipresence and wide use of mobile internet devices offers a unique opportunity to use a citizen science approach to bridge the gap between the lack of knowledge, research and impact of recreational fishermen in a mutually beneficial way. In that perspective DTU Aqua are first movers. Moreover, in time, the platform has the potential to instill responsible stewardship among recreational fishermen i.e. to engage and educate as much as 5 % of Denmark’s population on a regular basis.

This project is coordinated by DTU Aqua and funded by the Danish Rod and Net Fishing License Funds.

Research area: Freshwater Fisheries and Ecology
StatusActive
Effective start/end date01/01/2015 → …