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Keywords:

  • angling;
  • fish conservation;
  • fisheries;
  • native species;
  • perception;
  • social surveys

Abstract  Consideration of key sociological factors, including the views and attitudes of the local population, is critical to species reintroduction project success. This study examined the opinions of anglers, conservationists and the general public to a potential reintroduction of burbot, Lota lota L., to UK rivers. An online survey targeted the key stakeholder groups and a questionnaire was used to obtain a snapshot of public attitudes. In both studies, more than 90% of respondents supported reintroduction. Anglers, participants with prior knowledge of the species, males and respondents who were not a member of a conservation organisation, exhibited the most positive attitudes. Anglers and participants with prior knowledge of the species cited burbot as an angling opportunity, suggesting these groups view burbot as an exploitable resource. Overall, the surveys indicated that reintroduction of the burbot, should it be deemed feasible on ecological and biological grounds, would not be met by major public opposition.