The Directorate General of Fisheries and Marine Environment, of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, has published the first results of the ‘Recreational Fishing Diary’, a mobile application, created in 2018, in which recreational boat fishermen declare their catches in marine reserves. The data published includes the information declared between 2019 and 2021, and concludes that the most common modality practised in these areas is the ‘roquer’ (31%), followed by ‘fluixa’ (19%), squid (17%), ‘serrans’ (16%) and ‘raors’ (13%). Bottom trolling is the least frequent (4%), partly due to the prohibition of this modality in some marine reserves.
Fishermen’s declarations reported a total of 54 fish species and 3 cephalopods. In number, the most abundant species are raor (25%), vaca (20%) and serrano (18%). In terms of catches by weight, the most abundant species are the raor (18%), the squid (13%), the cow (12%) and the serrano (12%). Squid fishing is becoming increasingly important and its catches are only surpassed by raor.
In terms of fishing methods, the most abundant species in the ‘roquer’ is the cow (38%), but the serrano also stands out with 17%. The Atlantic cod (22%) and the ‘espet’ (10%) are the most abundant species in the ‘slack’ modality. In the ‘raors’ category, the most abundant species is the ‘raor’ (69.70%), followed by the ‘pedaç’ (20.10%) and the ‘araña monja’ (5.57%). In the ‘serranos’ modality, most of the pieces caught (68.5%) are serranos, but cows, ‘cànteres’ and spiders, among other catches, have also been reported. Finally, in the ‘squid’ category, 95.5% are squid and the rest are cuttlefish.
By months, in September the most common modality is ‘raor fishing’, while ‘floja’ is practised between June and November, and between November and February ‘calamares’ is the most common modality.
The declaration of catches is compulsory for recreational boat fishermen in all the marine reserves of the Balearic Islands and can be done through the mobile application or on paper. It must also be done by spearfishermen in the reserves where this modality can still be practised. The collection of this data also makes it possible to involve recreational fishing in the management of the Balearic Islands’ marine resources. European regulations foresee that, in the not too distant future, this declaration will be extended to all the waters of the Balearic Islands.