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Examining target species substitution in the face of changing recreational fishing policies


The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is mandated by law to analyze the benefits, costs, and economic impacts of the recreational fisheries policies it promulgates. NMFS has developed single species models that predict welfare and effort changes stemming from changes in various recreational regulations. Little is known, however, about angler switching behavior between species in the face of these same policy changes. That is, as regulations are tightened for one species do those anglers quit fishing entirely or switch to a substitute species with less stringent regulations? Estimating these relationships requires specialized data collections involving long-term panel studies to gauge revealed preferences or the presentation of hypothetical scenarios to elicit stated preferences. NMFS is currently pursuing the latter; conducting a stated preference mail survey that presents anglers a series of choice scenarios that vary in quality, policy, and species target attributes, and asks them to choose a preferred trip. Species included in the scenarios include grouper, red snapper, king mackerel, and dolphin fish. This data collection will field surveys monthly through August 2004 using anglers sampled during the Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistical Survey (MRFSS) creel survey and the MRFSS random digit dial survey of coastal households in the South Atlantic and Gulf Coast states of the US. This paper presents the preliminary results of the stated preference survey, including a random utility model that examines the substitution of target species under different policy scenarios.

Source: Gentner, B. 2005. "Examining target species substitution in the face of changing recreational fishing policies." Accepted publication for 2004 International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade Proceedings. July 2004. Tokyo, Japan.

For more information, please contact:Sabrina Lovell

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