Understanding Anglers Valuation of Management Reforms for Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish

Project: Research project

Project Details


Understanding Anglers Valuation of Management Reforms for Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Understanding Anglers' Valuation of Management Reforms for Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish The recent success of Amendment 40 to the Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish FMP, combined with scoping for new forms of management for the charter and headboat fleets under proposed Amendments 41 and 42, may signal the beginning of a new era of management for recreational fisheries. Separate management for charter, headboat and private recreational fishing for red snapper and other reef fish species allows for the possibility of targeted applications of rights-based management approaches to the individual fishery context. As demonstrated by the recently concluded EFP for headboat fisheries for red snapper and gag grouper, these reforms can do much to lengthen fishing seasons, improve access to fishery resources, and enhance the profitability of the fishery to for-hire providers. Despite these benefits, there is remarkably little data to guide policy makers on the potential welfare gains to anglers and effects on their fishing behavior from implementation of rights-based reforms, and even less to guide decisions on specific policy decisions (such as the desirability of maintaining bag limits on top of a system of vessel-level catch accountability). Existing data gathering programs from NMFS, such as MRIP and its supplements, either drastically under-sample important parts of the angler population or fail to pose the sorts of questions that allow policy makers to address important what if? scenarios relevant to fisheries management. As a result, managers are likely to increasingly find themselves in the position of making decisions on the basis of scant data. This proposed research aims to help close some of these important data gaps by utilizing a recently gathered internet survey of active 2014-2015 headboat anglers to estimate the value of rights-based management reforms in the headboat sector. It will also expand upon the narrow focus of the previous dataset by developing a broader sample frame of potential anglers in the GOM and using this broader sample frame to gather recent recreational use data and, most importantly, preference data on alternative management scenarios.
Effective start/end date6/1/168/31/21


  • Environmental Defense Fund: $79,933.00


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