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Recreational fishing, a popular leisure activity, can potentially support conservation of species and provide socio-economic benefits to local economies.Â Nonetheless, there are ecological concerns regarding this pastime, especially in developing economies such as India where little information is available concerning impacts on fish populations.Â An online survey targeting recreational anglers practicing catch-and-release (C&R) in India (n=200) revealed 25 states/union territories as prime angling locations, with Mahseer (Tor spp.) constituting the main target species group (53%).Â Angling season (28%) and pristine river surroundings (14%) were stated as major factors important for angling, while overfishing (31%) and the use of illegal fishing techniques were highlighted as chief threats to fish species.Â Respondents were in favour of strictly adhering to C&R guidelines (23%), controlling illegal fishing techniques and pollution (18%) and spreading awareness and education among local stakeholders (18%) to protect fish.Â Over 75% of respondents were also willing to contribute both their time and money to conservation initiatives focusing on key sport fish.Â With anglers targeting multiple fishing locations throughout India, there is a need for consistent governance structures and policy instruments to support the development of sustainable recreational fisheries while minimising conflict with other stakeholder groups.Â The impacts of C&R fisheries interactions on individuals and populations (especially for threatened species) need to be studied in the Indian context.Â Direct participation by recreational anglers in C&R research could strengthen broader conservation and management initiatives throughout the country by increasing stewardship.ÂÂ
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