Talk is cheap: Direct evidence of conservation-based changes in angler behavior




Banks, Kesley
Streich, Matthew
Stunz, Gregory

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Post-release mortality threatens shark populations already imperiled by overfishing, capture stress, and a changing climate. Few studies have quantified post-release mortality for sharks captured in land-based recreational fisheries. From 2018 to 2021, a land-based shark post-release mortality study was conducted and identified water temperature and species-specific behavior as contributing factors to post-release mortality. The purpose of this study was to estimate the effectiveness of disseminating the recommendation for best practices to recreational shark anglers and to determine if this information influenced angler behavior. Awareness of our post-release mortality study influenced an angler's likely release behavior, with an increase in sharks landed in the water and corresponding decrease of sharks landed on dry sand. This study demonstrated direct evidence of conservation-based changes in angler behavior following effective research communication and involvement of anglers in research. Outreach and engagement initiatives aimed at providing best handling practices to recreational anglers should be easily digestible, widely available, and an important component of future research.






Gibson Banks, K., Streich, M. K., Drymon, J. M., Scyphers, S. B., Mohan, J. A., Wells, R. J. D., Binstock, A. L., Richards, T. M., White, C. F., Whitney, N. M., & Stunz, G. W. (2023). Talk is cheap: Direct evidence of conservation-based changes in angler behavior. Conservation Science and Practice, e13001.