Data_Sheet_1_Characterizing the Profile of Recreational Fishers Who Share Their Catches on Social Media.docx
Social media may provide information for monitoring recreational fisheries, but several caveats prevent operationalization. Specifically, the fraction and profile of recreational fishers sharing their catches is not known. Our aim was to advance the monitoring capacities of recreational fishing using social media data. We collected data with onsite (face-to-face) survey and online (emails) questionnaires to characterize marine recreational fishers sharing catches on digital platforms (“sharers”) along with other demographic or fishing information. In the online survey we found that 38% of recreational fishers share their catches using digital platforms (including the private messaging platform WhatsApp), but such proportion dropped to 12% when considering only public or semi-public social media (Instagram was the most commonly used platform, followed by Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter). A similar pattern was found with the online questionnaire where sharers represented 37% of recreational fishers (including WhatsApp), while such proportion dropped to 21% when considering only public or semi-public social media. In general, sharers were more avid (24 and 35 yearly fishing trips for onsite and online survey, respectively) compared to non-sharers (18 and 31 yearly fishing trips). Sharers also spent more money on each fishing trip (on average 26 and 31 euro for onsite and online survey, respectively) than non-sharers (on average 21 and 28 euro for onsite and online survey, respectively), but they had similar chances of catching something. However, for fishers with catches, the harvest per unit effort of sharers was higher than that of non-sharers (0.4 and 0.5 kg/h with respect to 0.3 and 0.4 kg/h, for onsite and online survey, respectively). Moreover, recreational fishers that caught trophy, iconic, or emblematic species were more inclined to share their catches. This study represents an important advancement for integrating social media data into the monitoring of recreational fishing.