Old fishing villages on the west coast are facing breakdowns in traditional fisheries due to depletion of their most important stock, the Iberian-Atlantic sardines. These coastal villages are also becoming popular tourist destinations. Besides creating new opportunities, the increased demand by tourists also increases the pressure on those coastal areas, and, therefore, on marine and coastal ecosystems. Evidence of such situations can be found in different regions of the country. Along the southern coast, conflicts with other recreational uses that share the same areas, such as recreational fishing, a popular outdoor activity in Portugal, occur frequently in the high season. The extent of this activity has led Portuguese authorities to suggest a ban on daytime recreational angling.

Moreover, for some species (e.g., seabass, white sea bream, and golden bream), recreational fishing competes with commercial fishing, while for some crustaceans, such as crabs, recreational fishing is responsible for the largest part of the harvest. Though it is perceived as significant, its real magnitude is largely unknown, raising concerns about the impact on the sustainability of those species. Therefore, the amounts harvested should be taken into account in either stock assessment or ecosystem-based management.

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