Villasante, S., et al. (including Pita, P. and Ainsworth, G.). (2022). Ecosystems and People.
We evaluated the associations between marine recreational fishing, stress, seafood consumption, and sleep quality in a cross-sectional questionnaire-based survey of a convenience sample of 244 fishers recruited in 2019 in Spain. Fishers’ stress levels were moderate, with a mean stress index score of 36.4 units on a scale from 14 (very low stress) to 70 (very high). Their average emotional condition was positive, with a mean index of negative affect of 7.8 units on a scale from 5 (very low negative affect) to 25 (very high). Seafood intake was low, with a mean index of seafood in diets of 38.0 units on a scale from 20 (very low seafood consumption) to 160 (very high). Fishers’ perceived quality of night sleep was good because the mean index of sleep problems was 39.5 units on a scale from 21 (very low sleep problems) to 107 (very high). Each hour of self-reported monthly fishing activity was associated with 0.016 units of lower stress score. Thus, the most engaged fishers reported up to 15.4% lower stress score than less avid fishers. Since recreational fishing is a highly accessible outdoor activity for people in older age groups, it is possible that public health could be improved by access to sustainably managed recreational fisheries. Fishing engagement was positively associated with seafood intake. Each hour of fishing per month was associated with one-unit higher seafood consumption. The higher seafood consumption observed among avid recreational fishers compared with less avid fishers might have health implications.