Fishing tourism, also called as pesca tourism, was initially adopted in Italy. Fishing tourism involves fishing, sharing the culture with local fishermen, as well as learning the traditions and lifestyle. Fishing tourism was later developed and adopted by the United States, other European countries and by Asian countries. Fishing tourism is partly a sub set of the marine eco-tourism and special interest tourism sector. It emphasises external recreational purposes. The non-crew members (that is tourists), are allowed to go fishing with crew members. The activities involved in fishing tourism are generally conducted by professional fisherman who use well equipped vessels needed for fishing and maintain overall safety and hygiene.
Fishing tourism can be carried out in lakes, rivers and seas. The tourists get an opportunity to learn the art of fishing, learn about the culture adopted by the fishermen and experience the sea life and sea patterns, the difficulties faced and the adventures that occur every now and then. There are different activities involved in fishing tourism namely, boat excursions, watching and also participating in fishing, gaining knowledge and technical know how about the different gears used in fishing and the equipment used on boats, sea food lunch and dinner preparation on boat and on shore, and gaining awareness and knowledge about the marine culture and marine environment and coastal diversity of that area. These activities could be conducted for a day or even all year round, which also depends on the weather conditions and fishing methods. These activities should be undertaken systematically so that the traditional fishing methods and marine life would not be hampered.
Fishing Tourism: Growth Fuelling Aspects
Each state is undertaking efforts to promote tourism including recreational fishing tourism for the purpose of economic development. Steps are taken to promote and improve quality in fishing tourism. The fishermen are motivated and provided the necessary skills through a training and development programme in order to ensure delivering quality tourism services to tourists. New products are being developed that would be innovative, market oriented, deliverable and financially feasible. New methods are designed to quantify the output and gauge the potential outcomes. Marketing activities are also conducted towards promotion of fishing tourism. These aspects are facilitating the growth of the fishing tourism sector.
Fishing Tourism: Impacts
The impacts or pros of the fishing tourism sector are discussed below:
- The fishermen get complementary income due to fishing tourism. This additional income benefits their families’ social life and they get acquainted with new skills due to promotion programmes undertaken to exercise fishing tourism
- Fishing tourism can also contribute to the economy of a region
- Promotion of lesser known fish is also possible, which can increase their consumption thereby bringing in more income
- The urban population/tourists can learn many aspects about life in coastal areas, the local ways of living and surviving, the different styles of cooking, etc., which they can use and promote in cities, thereby promoting fishing tourism and hence extending a helping arm towards the welfare of the local fishermen
- The extra income generated by fishing tourism can help the fishermen preserve the culture and reinforce the appeal of this sector for future generations
- Awareness regarding sustainable fishing is promoted through fishing tourism
Fishing Tourism: Challenges
Tourism often uses most beautiful strips of the coastline that can result in reduction in the availability of space for fishing activities. Over fishing is also a problem. Uncontrolled angling results in reduction in fish stocks, which is a matter of worry for local fishermen. Skilled labour can be a challenge as it is difficult to find skilled and knowledgeable fishing experts. Sometimes it is difficult to find crew members. Fishing tourism is often carried out for few months ideally. This creates temporary opportunities for the fishermen and often it is observed that the wages paid to them are less as compared to the services they offer. This factor can demotivate the crew members to facilitate fishing tourism. Unrestrained and unnecessary development along the coastline can lead to pollution of waters, which can directly affect the fishing industry and tourism.
Fishing Tourism: Key Regions
Fishing tourism is spread over regions such as the United States, European countries, the Asia Pacific countries and the Middle East countries. In the U.S, the popular destinations for fishing tourism are Florida, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Carolina and New York. In Europe, Italy, France, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Switzerland, Denmark, Netherlands, Latvia, Belgium and United Kingdom are different areas where outdoor recreations are carried out, especially pertaining to fishing activities. However, each of these regions face their respective limitations owing to certain legal and environmental aspects. Fishing tourism is also popular in APAC, especially in Kerala (India), Hong Kong and Japan. The Middle East countries are experiencing a steady adoption rate of fishing tourism.
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Fishing Tourism Sector Overview And Analysis
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