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Invasive Alien Species
Ecology and effects of non-indigenous species in relation to recreational angling in freshwater: a Swedish perspective
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The intention with eco-tourism is to combine the recreational use of
nature in a sustainable way with economic development in rural areas.
There are indeed potentialities for developing eco-tourism in Scandinavia
and today many projects are running, often with support from local
authorities and from EU. However, there are a number of careful
considerations that have to be made when developing eco-tourism.
The economic gain is often related to the number of visitors while the
sustainability criterion may put limits on how many visitors that
can be allowed in an area. Projects aiming to develop eco-tourism should
therefore take care in evaluating those aspects where a high number of
visitors may be a threat to biodiversity. In projects concentrating on angling
tourism there is a need for analysis of visiting rates in relation to e.g.
physical damages in nature, sustainable catch in fish populations, and the
risk of spreading non-indigenous organisms.

This report treats one of these aspects, the role of recreational angling
in the dispersal of alien species in freshwater. The probability that humans
will bring aliens to a lake or a stream, by intent or by accident, is definitely
increasing with visiting rate. In this respect there is a conflict between the
economic gain and the sustainable use of freshwaters for sustainable angling.
Nevertheless, there is a potential in eco-tourism. Tourist entrepreneurs,
eco-tourists, and people working for nongovernmental angling organisations,
or for local and national fishery authorities, are often very devoted. Many
angling enthusiasts are aware of the potential negative impacts of angling
and will very likely be active in developing methods for a sustainable angling.
This report is in fact the result of a responsible action by an angling enthusiast
who is aware that the risks of eco-tourism have to be cleared away. It was
initiated during discussions with Sassi Wemmer, the leader of the project in
which this study is a part. The project ”Marketplace 7-Härad” aims to develop
sustainable tourism in the Sjuhärad district in SW Sweden.

There is, however, a general lack of insight in how recreational angling
contributes to the spreading of organisms. During the work with the report it
became evident that the review should not be restricted just to the project
region, i.e. the Sjuhärad district. Many people involved in angling and in the
development of angling projects have asked for information on the dispersal
of alien species. I have therefore shifted the focus to treat a larger geo-
graphical region than intended. Thus, I give a description of alien species
relevant also for other parts of Scandinavia and it is my hope that the report will
be of use for visiting angling tourists and enthusiasts from abroad.

I want to thank the Research and Education Board at the University College
of Borås for the sustaining support of my research. I express my gratitude
to Sassi Wemmer, who invited me to write the report and whose constructive
attitude helped me finish it. Thanks also to Stefan Lundberg, from the
Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, who introduced me to the
alien species problem. The discussions with Stefan, on many of the newcomers
in the Swedish freshwater fauna, have been very instructive.

Borås and Göteborg
August 2006
Jan-Erik Svensson

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Sassis Resor 7-härad       Tel: +46 70-216 72 18       turism@sjuharad.info
       This project is partly financed by the European Union