A spatial multi-criteria analysis for the identification of preferential areas for recreational fishing in Chile
In the past decade, the south of Chile has experienced a considerable increase in recreational fishing, which has brought greater pressure to bear on the ecosystems. One of the more important gaps in recreational fishing management is the availability of a methodological framework that would make it possible to identify and assess areas that are suitable for developing this activity. The purpose of this research is to propose a methodology to evaluate areas with the best potential for the development of recreational fishing. The methodology is based on Spatial Multi-Criteria Analysis (SMCA) and was applied in the hydrographic basins of the Valdivia River and lake Ranco in the Los Rios Region in the south of Chile. The application of the SMCA methodology made it possible to select six areas with a high potential for recreational fishing, which share suitable characteristics in terms of their assessed attributes: (a) landscape, (b) water quality, (c) biological yield and (d) navigability, among others. The SMCA methodology made it possible to conduct a comprehensive valuation of the natural resources, assessing not only the optimal conditions for recreational fishing but also environmental aspects such as landscape quality and accessibility, which are highly valued and essential to sustain recreational fishing activities. Thus, it is possible to provide support both to the objectives of economic development regarding recreational fishing and the goals of protecting and managing the natural environment.
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