Photo: Christian Skov

Anglers supply data for climate research

Tuesday 15 May 18


Christian Skov
Associate Professor
DTU Aqua
+45 35 88 31 16


Fangstjournalen is a Danish-language platform where anglers can report fishing trips and thus have an easy overview of catches, photos, and other fishing trip information. In addition, anglers can win prizes, see statistics on fishing waters, and—of course—keep the fishing grounds secret from others, except for the researchers who are processing the data.
Researchers have developed a garfish barometer, on which anglers can follow garfish fishing and contribute to climate research.

By Christian Skov and Mark Payne

Climate change affects fish stocks, and climate scientist Mark Payne—Senior Researcher at DTU Aqua—studies the impact of climate change in Danish waters. This knowledge is important to understand whether future climate change will turn nature as we know it today ‘upside down’.

Mark Payne is therefore collecting data that can be used to map and understand where and when seasonal fish such as garfish appear along Danish coasts, and—not least—how future climate change can affect these patterns.

Data from Fangstjournalen provides insight
A potential good source of information is DTU Aqua’s citizen science platform, Fangstjournalen, to which anglers can report their fishing trips and catches throughout Denmark.

Fangstjournalen is aimed at gathering knowledge about a number of species, but—by specifically analysing garfish fishing trips—Mark Payne can monitor where and when garfish appear in anglers’ catches and the gap between the appearance of garfish.

“Over time, data on garfish helps us improve our understanding of how annual differences in the arrival and distribution of garfish are connected with annual differences in sea temperature, currents, and the like. This obviously requires that enough anglers wish to contribute data from their fishing trips,” says Mark Payne.

Data provides snapshot of highly current catches
The data collected can also provide interesting information to anglers about where and when fishing is at its highest.

As a thank you for the data, a ‘garfish barometer’ (please note that the website is in Danish) has been developed in cooperation with anglers. The barometer continuously measures current garfish fishing. In this first edition of the barometer, anglers will have a scientific estimate of the current gaps between garfish appearances along the Danish coasts, they will be able to follow the garfish fishing situation compared to previous years, and—from this—perhaps plan coming fishing trips better.
30 JANUARY 2023