Understanding the Complexity of Catch-and-Release in
Recreational Fishing: An Integrative Synthesis of Global
Knowledge from Historical, Ethical, Social, and
Biological Perspectives

Most research on catch-and-release (C&R) in recreational fishing has been conducted
from a disciplinary angle focusing on the biological sciences and the study of hooking
mortality after release. This hampers understanding of the complex and multifaceted
nature of C&R. In the present synopsis, we develop an integrative perspective on C&R
by drawing on historical, philosophical, socio-psychological, biological, and managerial
insights and perspectives. Such a perspective is helpful for a variety of reasons,
such as 1) improving the science supporting successful fisheries management and conservation,
2) facilitating dialogue between managers, anglers, and other stakeholders,
3) minimizing conflict potentials, and 4) paving the path toward sustainable recreational
fisheries management. The present work highlights the array of cultural, institutional,
psychological, and biological factors and dimensions involved in C&R. Progress toward
successful treatment of C&R might be enhanced by acknowledging the complexity
inherent in C&R recreational fishing.

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