Recreational inshore fishing activities practiced on Faial and Pico Islands (Azorean archipelago) were surveyed between October 2004 and September 2005. Recreational inshore fishers employ three main methods of fishing (shore angling, spear fishing and intertidal collecting). The method that demanded the highest fishing effort (number of fishing operations) was shore angling, followed by intertidal collecting and spear fishing. Shore angling produced the highest diversity of catch composition (38), which is in part explained by the seven fishing techniques used by shore anglers. The estimates of annual catch were higher for shore angling than spear fishing (51·2 and 6·3 t) even though they were lower than commercial artisanal fishing (442 t). The weighted mean trophic level and vulnerability index values in the fish catch were higher for spear fishing (3·4 and 50·9) than for shore angling (3·1 and 44·5). Cumulative pressure by different recreational fishing activities was detected on species already subject to a heavy pressure from Azorean commercial fishing, and on vulnerable and top‐predator species. There are important biological and ecological implications whereby fishery managers should implement additional regulations such as prohibiting catches of the most vulnerable species.
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