Characteristics of illegal inland fishing according to the opinions of Polish fisheries guards

  • Maciej Mickiewicz
  • Arkadiusz Wołos
  • Marek Trella
Keywords: illegal fishing, types of poaching, fishing gears, impact on fish stocks


Poaching is still a great problem in Poland. Officers of the fisheries guard from three regions in northeast Poland rich in natural inland waters were surveyed. The most frequent type of poaching encountered by the officers was that practised by recreational fishers using rods (ranking of 4.4 points on a scale of 0–5) followed by poaching stemming from poverty or unemployment (3.4 points), and poaching by professional fishermen was ranked the lowest (1.5 points). Organized poaching was identified as the most dangerous for ichthyofauna (42% of responses), followed by poaching by recreational fishers (28%) and poaching stemming from poverty or unemployment (23%). According to the officers surveyed, the species that were targeted by poachers most frequently were the predators: pike, Esox lucius (98% of responses), European eel, Anguilla anguilla, pikeperch, Sander lucioperca and perch, Perca fluviatilis.