Project news New app for recreational sea anglers collects catch data


ILVO has designed a new app that allows hobby sea anglers to keep track of their catch data digitally. From their smartphone, they can keep a digital logbook and quickly retrieve specific data such as photos, time and location. In the future, artificial intelligence in the app will also allow them to correctly identify fish species. For the marine researchers at ILVO and VLIZ, the anonymized data from recreational fishing is an important addition to the catch data they collect from professional fishing.

Compared to other countries such as France, the Netherlands, Spain or Italy, the hobby sea fishing sector is small in our country, but it still has a place in fisheries. It is important that Belgian data are also kept to complete the European monitoring of fish stocks and to better assess the socioeconomic impact of quotas and rules on the local marine ecosystem.

Until now, the catch data of recreational sea anglers in Belgium were not recorded, or recorded in different ways (via a logbook or the website With the introduction of the new app, ILVO (Flanders Research Center for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food) and the Flemish Institute for the Sea (VLIZ) are trying to improve data collection in a way that also helps hobby sea anglers.

Thanks to the growing group of recreational sea anglers who have been providing data since the project began, Belgian recreational sea fishing is already much less of a blind spot. This allows for better estimation of numbers and also translates into more realistic quotas and rules.

Thomas Lanssens, ILVO researcher

The new (Dutch-language) application is free and available for Android and IOs. Data entered into the app is processed anonymously.

Download the app here:

Have questions about the app or recreational fishing data collection in general? Contact

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