Angling as a source of non-native freshwater fish: a European review

  • A. J. CarpioEmail author
  • R. J. De Miguel
  • J. Oteros
  • L. Hillström
  • F. S. Tortosa
Original Paper


In a context of the growing concern about the impact of biological invasions, our objective is to review the role of those non-native species that have primarily been introduced for angling purposes in at least one European country. We are particularly interested in: (1) the relative role of sport fish species in the context of non-native species introductions; (2) assessing the relative importance of different fish taxa; (3) identifying similarity patterns in the composition of the angling fish species introduced throughout the continent, and (4) assessing the underlying factors that drive their diversity in Europe. According to our results, 23.6% of the freshwater fish introduced into Europe during the last century were released primarily for angling purposes. The species composition differed among countries, with a higher diversity of introduced angling species in larger countries and in those with a greater GDP per capita, along with a lower latitude. This review stresses that angling was a significant pathway for the introduction of invasive fish species into Europe in the last century. Furthermore, some of the introduced angling species had severe environmental impacts on many European regions. However, introductions of non-native angling species are still occurring. Therefore, existing EU regulations need better enforcement as well as to increase public awareness regarding invasive fish. This will help to preserve biodiversity and improve the sustainability of current angling schemes in increasingly managed European freshwater ecosystems. However, non-native fish could make angling sustainable, although not for biodiversity generally.


Anglers Exotic species Freshwater fish introductions Introduced angling species (IANS) Invasion pathways Sport fishing 



We are grateful to those databases that provided data for this review (i.e. DAISIE, FISHBASE and GISD). We would also like to thank S. Newton for her comments on the earlier drafts of the manuscript. AJC are supported by a “Juan de la Cierva” contract (FJCI-2017-33114) from MINECO-UCM. We thank Helmholtz Zentrum München for the Postdoctoral Fellowship Program PFPII.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Zoology, Campus of RabanalesUniversity of CordobaCórdobaSpain
  2. 2.IREC (UCLM-CSIC-JCCM)Instituto de Investigación en Recursos CinegéticosCiudad RealSpain
  3. 3.Center of Allergy and Environment (ZAUM), Member of the German Center for Lung Research (DZL)Technische Universität München/Helmholtz CenterMunichGermany
  4. 4.Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Faculty of Health and Occupational StudiesUniversity of GävleGävleSweden

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