Recreational fishermen can constitute an important source of data on alien fish species, analogous to citizen science, as fishermen now frequently share their experiences through online platforms (blogs, forums, social networks, fishery websites).
The scientific paper “Spatial distribution patterns of the non-native European catfish, Silurus glanis, from multiple online sources – a case study for the River Tagus (Iberian Peninsula)” demonstrates that scattered fish records available online could provide accurate species distribution and dispersal patterns. The study analyzed a total of 80 records of Silurus glanis in the Tagus catchment (Spain and Portugal) from which nearly half originated from fishermen’s fora and blogs; YouTube videos were the second source of information, while scientific literature was the least informative (5 records).
As effective management of invasive alien species depends on the availability of updated information about their distribution and spatial dispersion, online species records and citizen science data should not be overlooked as sources of information on invasive alien species.
: Gago, J., Anastácio, P., Gkenas, C., Banha, F. and Ribeiro, F. (2016), Spatial distribution patterns of the non-native European catfish, Silurus glanis
, from multiple online sources – a case study for the River Tagus (Iberian Peninsula). Fish Manag Ecol, 23: 503–509. doi:10.1111/fme.12189