Tech Memo Home | Publications Home
CONTENTS
Executive Summary
Introduction
Methods
Results & Discussion
Endnotes
Acknowledgments
References Cited
List of Acronyms

NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-NE-165

A Baseline Socio-economic Study of Massachusetts' Marine Recreational Fisheries

Ronald J. Salz1, David K. Loomis1, Michael R. Ross1, and Scott R. Steinback2
1Univ. of Massachusetts - Amherst, Dept. of Natural Resources Conservation, Holdsworth Bldg., Amherst, MA 01003
2
National Marine Fisheries Serv., Woods Hole Lab., 166 Water St., Woods Hole, MA  02543

Web version posted July 17, 2002

Citation: Salz RJ, Loomis DK, Ross MR, Steinback SR. 2001. A baseline socio-economic study of Massachusetts' marine recreational fisheries. US Dep Commer, NOAA Tech Memo NMFS NE 165; 129 p.

Information Quality Act Compliance: In accordance with section 515 of Public Law 106-554, the Northeast Fisheries Science Center completed both technical and policy reviews for this report. These predissemination reviews are on file at the NEFSC Editorial Office.

Acrobat Download complete PDF/print version

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This study investigated various socioeconomic attributes of Massachusetts’ marine recreational anglers. Separate analyses were conducted for each of three saltwater angler modes of fishing: partyboat, private boat, and shore. Socioeconomic attributes of Massachusetts saltwater anglers were also compared across levels of recreation specialization. Recreation specialization describes the variation among participants of a particular activity through segmenting the population into meaningful and identifiable subgroups. For this study, anglers were segmented in recreation specialization levels by using an index based on four variables: commitment to saltwater fishing, relationships with other anglers, orientation to saltwater fishing, and types of experiences during fishing. Overall, private boat anglers were the most specialized group, and partyboat anglers were the least specialized. In general, partyboat anglers appeared less connected to partyboat fishing than were either private boat anglers to private boat fishing or shore anglers to shore fishing.

Anglers, initially contacted in the field following a fishing trip, were asked to participate in a followup mail survey. A total of 511 partyboat, 470 private boat, and 269 shore anglers returned completed survey questionnaires. Overall response rates were 50.5%, 65.5%, and 61.4% for partyboat, private boat, and shore modes, respectively. Over one-half (51%) of those surveyed in the partyboat mode were out-of-state (i.e., non-Massachusetts) residents, while a smaller percentage of those surveyed in the shore (41%) and private boat modes (28%) were out-of-state residents. The overwhelming majority of anglers surveyed in all three modes were white males.

Massachusetts’ saltwater anglers had a variety of reasons for going saltwater fishing -- both catch-related and noncatch-related. On average, anglers in all three modes rated “fun of catching fish” and “for the experience of the catch” as very important reasons for fishing. Private boat and shore anglers also rated “relaxation” and “to be outdoors” as being between very and extremely important reasons to go fishing. Other highly rated noncatch-related reasons by anglers in all three modes included “to be close to the water” and “to share experiences with friends, family, and others.” Catching fish to eat was only rated between slightly and moderately important, on average, by anglers in all three modes.

Anglers were asked what their top three reasons were for going saltwater fishing in that particular mode. Private boat and shore anglers favored noncatch-related aspects of the fishing experience (i.e., “for relaxation” and “to be outdoors”) over catch-related aspects as their number one reason for going fishing. Partyboat anglers also selected noncatch-related aspects of fishing more often than catch-related aspects as their top reason to go fishing. However, partyboat anglers placed more emphasis on social aspects of fishing such as “family recreation” and “sharing experiences with others” than did shore or private boat anglers. For all modes, the relative importance that anglers placed on every reason for going saltwater fishing increased with increasing specialization level. This was not surprising since highly specialized anglers, who fish more often, are expected to have stronger motivations to go fishing.

Anglers were asked to respond to a series of statements related to catch aspects of saltwater fishing. Results suggest that actually catching fish is not the only determinant of a satisfying fishing experience. In fact, a large percentage of anglers in each mode agreed or strongly agreed that a fishing trip could be a success even if no fish were caught (i.e., partyboat 50%, private boat 76%, and shore 80%). Partyboat anglers, in general, placed more emphasis on catching fish as a condition for a successful trip than did anglers in the other two modes. The majority of anglers in all three modes either agreed or strongly agreed that the saltwater fishing opportunities in Massachusetts met their needs for a satisfying experience (i.e., partyboat 69%, private boat 82%, and shore 72%).

Constraints, or reasons why anglers did not participate in fishing more often, were also investigated. For all three modes, the biggest apparent constraints were “too many other demands on my time” and “other leisure activities take up my time.” In general, the importance of these time-related constraints decreased with increasing specialization level for anglers in all three modes. For anglers in all three modes, lack of fish or low catch rates were not frequently cited as being important reasons for fishing less often. The proportion of anglers who agreed with the statement that “I believe an increase in my fishing activity would be bad for the resource” was also low for all three modes (i.e., 10% partyboat, 4.5% private boat, and 5.1% shore). This belief suggests that either anglers think the resource is fairly healthy, or they simply do no think that one angler can have a negative impact. Cost of fishing was seen as a more important constraint among partyboat anglers and private boat anglers as compared to shore anglers.

For this study, anglers were categorized by mode group, based on the particular mode in which they were fishing when they were intercepted in the field. One objective of this research was to determine the extent to which anglers switch among different modes of saltwater fishing, and also switch between saltwater and freshwater fishing. Our results suggest that Massachusetts anglers tend to fish in multiple modes, water types (i.e., freshwater and saltwater), and states during the course of a single year. Shore anglers (59%) were more likely to have purchased a freshwater fishing license in their state of residence compared to private boat anglers (52%) and partyboat anglers (35%). The proportion of anglers purchasing a freshwater license increased with specialization level for shore and partyboat anglers.

Another objective of this study was to investigate the decline in Massachusetts partyboat fishing in recent years. Results suggest that some private boat and shore anglers had shifted their fishing activity -- less partyboat fishing and more private boat and shore fishing -- in recent years. For example, of those private boat anglers who reported a decrease in their partyboat fishing avidity from 1994 to 1998, 85% reported an increase in their saltwater private boat fishing avidity, and 59% also reported an increase in their saltwater shore avidity. The decline in partyboat fishing clientele may also be related to increased popularity with wildlife watching as an alternative form of marine recreation. Our results found that 28% of surveyed partyboat anglers indicated that they had taken a whale-watching cruise during the previous year.

The mode-switching trend that we found among some anglers (i.e., less partyboat trips and more private boat and shore trips) may be related to a shift in species availability. Our results show that striped bass are by far the most popular species targeted by saltwater shore and private boat anglers in Massachusetts. During the early to mid-1990s, striped bass abundance increased dramatically as did recreational catches of this species. At the same time, the abundance of Atlantic cod, historically one of the most preferred partyboat species, declined sharply. Our results suggest that some anglers opportunistically switch fishing modes depending on the population status of preferred target species.

Input-output analysis was used to estimate the economic importance of shore fishing, private boat fishing, and partyboat fishing to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and to two coastal subregions within the state. In total, anglers’ expenditures in Massachusetts in 1998 generated almost $350 million in sales and over $142 million in income, and funded approximately 5,600 jobs in the commonwealth. Partyboat fees paid to for-hire owners were the single most important expense category for generating sales, income, and jobs from partyboat angler expenditures in Massachusetts and in the two coastal subregions within the commonwealth. Expenditures for meals at restaurants and for lodging at hotels generated the highest impacts for anglers fishing from shore and private boats. Bait and tackle purchases by shore and private boat fishermen also contributed significant impacts, as did launch fees and boat fuel purchases by private fishermen.

This study also examined angler attitudes towards recreational fishing regulations and fishery management tools. Our results show that anglers in all three modes were not very supportive of a proposed saltwater fishing license in Massachusetts. The percentage of anglers opposing a license altogether was greater for private boat (72.7%) and shore (75.1%) anglers than for partyboat anglers (56.6%). The difference was primarily made up by a much larger percentage of “no opinions” (22.1%) among partyboat anglers as compared to private boat (3.2%) and shore (4.3%) anglers. Anglers from all modes were generally supportive of minimum size limits, daily bag limits, and seasonal restrictions as recreational fishery management tools. Less than 10% of anglers in all three modes felt that the reason they didn’t fish more often was related to fishing regulations being too restrictive.


INTRODUCTION

Saltwater fishing is an extremely popular form of outdoor recreation in Massachusetts that provides valuable economic, social, educational, and health-related benefits. Saltwater anglers have varied motivations and expectations for participating in recreational fishing, and they collectively make considerable economic expenditures while engaged in this form of recreation. Saltwater anglers also target a variety of different fish species, utilize different fishing techniques, and pursue different angling modes (i.e., partyboat, charter boat, private boat, and shore).

The partyboat industry, in particular, occupies a unique position in marine recreational fisheries. It is not only a commercial enterprise that directly creates jobs and revenues, but it also attracts people to seaside localities, thus supporting many tourist-driven economies. In addition, partyboats serve an important role of providing affordable access to publicly shared marine resources, of which anglers without private boats may otherwise be deprived. However, there is a lack of specific data on angler motives and expectations for participating in partyboat fishing in Massachusetts. In addition, data are lacking on whether or not Massachusetts partyboat anglers' expectations are being met and motivations are being satisfied, and on whether expectations, motivations, or participation patterns have changed with changes in resource availability.

This study was conducted to answer some of these questions and to develop a better socioeconomic understanding of Massachusetts partyboat anglers. While partyboat anglers were the focus of this study, saltwater private boat and shore anglers were also surveyed for comparative purposes, and for exploring possible mode switching among anglers. Specific objectives addressed in this study are: 1) identification and evaluation of Massachusetts saltwater angler motivations, expectations, and outcomes concerning their fishing experience, including both catch and noncatch aspects; 2) segmentation of Massachusetts saltwater partyboat, private boat, and shore anglers into meaningful subgroups for analysis purposes; 3) evaluation of demand (i.e., frequency of participation) for Massachusetts saltwater fishing opportunities as it relates to fishery resource condition/availability by fishing mode; 4) evaluation of angler switching among Massachusetts partyboat, private boat, and shore modes of fishing; 5) evaluation of trends in angler demand for species-specific Massachusetts recreational saltwater fishing activity; 6) determination and evaluation of economic expenditures and economic impacts according to economic sector and fishing mode; and 7) evaluation of Massachusetts saltwater anglers' attitudes towards specific fishery management actions.


METHODS

This section is organized into seven subsections: 1) "Development of Mail Survey Sample Frame," 2) "Development of Socioeconomic Survey Instrument," 3) "Implementation of Mail Survey," 4) "Identification of Angler Subgroups for Analysis," 5) "Treatment of Potential Sampling Bias," 6) "Data Processing and Analysis," and 7) "Economic Expenditure Analysis."

DEVELOPMENT OF MAIL SURVEY SAMPLE FRAME

Prior to implementation of the socioeconomic mail survey of Massachusetts' saltwater anglers, it was first necessary to establish sample frames for each mode of interest: partyboat, private boat, and shore. This establishment of sample frames was accomplished through the onsite collection of angler names and addresses at Massachusetts saltwater fishing locations. The Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey (MRFSS) is a national survey coordinated by NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), and conducted annually in all coastal continental U.S. states except Texas. An important component of the MRFSS is the Intercept Survey which consists of onsite personal interviews with anglers at randomly selected marine fishing locations. For cost savings, logistical considerations, and survey design simplicity, we decided to piggyback the task of collecting angler names onto the MRFSS Intercept Survey. This piggybacking was done for private boat and shore modes only. Development of the partyboat sample is further discussed later.

Private Boat and Shore Modes

Collection of names and addresses occurred from May 1 to September 5, 1998. This sampling period was chosen because it corresponds with MRFSS sampling Waves 3 and 4 (i.e., May1 - August 31), and because it includes the peak saltwater fishing months in Massachusetts. Ideally, anglers in the sample frame would represent all Massachusetts saltwater anglers who participated in a particular angling mode during 1998. However, since recreational saltwater fishing occurs in Massachusetts during all months of the year, this study was limited in temporal scope. While anglers we encountered from May through early September may actually fish during other months as well, we cannot assume that our sample represented the full 12-mo Massachusetts saltwater angler population. Instead, our sample represents the angler population during this limited period.

However, MRFSS data show that 82% of 1998 Massachusetts saltwater anglers fished at least once during July or August, and more than three-fourths of Massachusetts saltwater trips (76.5%) and total catch (77.5%) for 1998 occurred between May 1 and August 31 (NMFS 2000). These MRFSS data strongly suggest that most of the 1998 Massachusetts recreational saltwater fishing population was eligible for sampling during our sample period. Furthermore, these data also show that our sample period included the most important months for Massachusetts recreational saltwater fishing in terms of participation, catch, and expenditures.

The MRFSS Intercept Survey is designed to sample fishing trips proportional to fishing activity across all locations within a given state, wave (i.e., 2-mo sampling period), and mode. Individual sites are weighted (by mode) according to the fishing pressure at that site, and sites are then selected randomly. High-use sites have a greater probability of being drawn than do low-use sites. However, the MRFSS site selection procedure does not follow a straightforward proportional probability sampling approach. Instead, sites are grouped according to pressure ranks (e.g., 1-4 anglers, 5-8 anglers, etc.), and a formula is used to determine the probability of each pressure rank group being drawn[1]. Therefore, the probability that a given site will be drawn is a function not only of its pressure rank, but also of the number of other sites with the same pressure rank. The fewer sites that there are within a pressure rank group, the higher the probability of selection of any individual site within that group. Additionally, low-pressure rank groups are intentionally downweighted in the MRFSS sample draw. This downweighting is done primarily to reduce the cost per intercept, since low-pressure sites are less productive (i.e., less anglers to interview). Despite these caveats, the statistical validity and representativeness of the MRFSS site selection sample design were considered adequate for the purposes of this study. For more details regarding MRFSS sampling methods, see the MRFSS user's manual (Gray et al. 1994).

At the conclusion of every MRFSS interview of private boat and shore anglers in Massachusetts during Waves 3 and 4 of 1998, MRFSS interviewers were instructed to ask anglers if they would be willing to participate in a followup mail survey conducted by the University of Massachusetts. If they agreed, the angler's name and address were recorded on an index card. MRFSS interviewers were also instructed not to collect more than one index card per family. Although most of our survey questions treat the individual angler (i.e., not the household) as the unit of analysis, this one-card-per-family limit had to be done to avoid duplication and confusion on the economic expenditure questions. In such cases, interviewers were told to select an adult family member randomly to avoid biasing the sample intentionally (e.g., always selecting the more experienced angler). Target sample sizes for returned, usable mail surveys by mode were based on statistical considerations, comparisons with previous similar survey research (Rossi et al. 1983), and the relative importance of each mode to the study. Assuming a 60% response rate, to achieve our targeted sample size of 885 partyboat, 390 private boat, and 330 shore angler-returned surveys would require initial mailing lists of 1,475 partyboat anglers, 650 private boat anglers, and 550 shore anglers.

An attempt was also made to stratify our sample by wave. Since our survey targets anglers and not individual fishing trips, ideally we would want to sample the two waves proportional to the number of anglers per wave by mode. However, since the MRFSS does not estimate angler effort by mode, we had to approximate effort in terms of trips. The assumption we make here is that the distribution of trips (by mode) roughly approximated the distribution of anglers across the two waves of interest. A 5-yr average of MRFSS trip estimates was used to determine the proportion of our sample drawn from each wave. In both the partyboat and private boat modes, 30% of the trips occur in Wave 3 (i.e., May-June), and 70% in Wave 4 (i.e., July-August). In the shore mode, 46% of the trips occur in Wave 3, and 54% in Wave 4.

MRFSS interviewers collected usable names and addresses of 733 private boat (13% over target) and 464 shore anglers (16% under target) who indicated a willingness to participate in our followup mail survey. The percentage of sample collected by wave closely approximated our target for both the private boat mode (35% in Wave 3, 65% in Wave 4) and the shore mode (45% in Wave 3, 55% in Wave 4).

Partyboat Mode

The MRFSS target sample sizes for shore and private boat interviewers for Waves 3 and 4 were sufficiently large to assure an adequate sample for our purposes using the method of collecting angler names described previously. However, for the partyboat mode, the MRFSS sample size in Massachusetts was too small to guarantee a sufficient number of returned surveys after accounting for onsite refusals and a 60% mail survey response rate. In addition, the MRFSS combines charter boats with partyboats into a single intercept sampling mode. Therefore, the MRFSS randomized site selection sampling of this combined "for-hire" mode is representative of the combined (i.e., partyboat and charter boat) fishing activity, not just partyboat activity. For these reasons, a different sampling approach was used to collect partyboat angler names than was used to collect private boat and shore angler names.

However, the partyboat angler sample frame was still obtained within the framework of the MRFSS in order to take advantage of the existing MRFSS fishing site list and well-established representative sampling scheme. To obtain the sample frame in this manner, we had the MRFSS contractor -- Quantech, Inc. -- run simulated MRFSS site assignment draws for the Massachusetts party/charter boat mode for Waves 3 and 4. However, we first had to account for the MRFSS site selection procedure combining the "for hire" modes (i.e., partyboats and charter boats), while our study was only interested in partyboats. Therefore, we eliminated from the site register all MRFSS partyboat/charter boat sites that only had charter boat activity, and reduced the fishing pressure rank of sites with both modes to only reflect partyboat activity. Experienced MRFSS interviewers were helpful in determining the new (i.e., partyboat only) pressure ranks for these sites. Adjusted pressure ranks were assigned to each site by month and day type (i.e., weekday and weekend/holiday). A total of 17 active Massachusetts partyboat fishing sites were included in our site selection program.

Since we did not know how many names and addresses we could obtain per assignment, the initial simulated draw was fairly large to avoid a major shortfall. As long as assignments are conducted in the order that they are drawn, the design's randomness will not be hindered if some assignments (i.e., reserves) are not actually completed. The site assignment list indicated which sites to visit, how often to visit each site, and in what order sites were to be visited over each 2-mo wave. For logistical and budgetary reasons, it was not always possible to follow the exact site visitation order, and some flexibility was allowed. The actual sites to visit and the frequency of visits per wave (as determined by the draw) took precedence over the specific dates assigned to each site. For example, if two nearby sites were to be visited 1 wk apart, but the driving distance to these sites was great, cost considerations would dictate both sites being sampled on the same day. Since sites were generally visited within 1 wk of assignment date, a fairly even distribution of site visits was achieved across the wave. Only one site (i.e., Nantucket Island) was not visited due to budgetary considerations. The MRFSS assignment draw is designed not only to spread sampling effort across the wave, but also to achieve a 60%-40% split between weekend/holiday and weekday visits. Every effort was made to approximate this split in the distribution and management of our sampling effort whenever logistically possible.

Although our sample design was intended to sample proportionally to the number of partyboat anglers present, in reality, other factors affected interviewer productivity. One important factor was the receptivity of partyboat captains (or site administrators) to our interviewers or our study. For example, at some sites, our interviewers were physically chased off the premises and asked not to return, while at other sites, captains actively assisted in collecting angler names. Angler cooperation rates also seemed to vary by fishing site and location. Other factors that may have affected individual site productivity included trip type, physical layout of the site (e.g., distance from boat to parking lot, and number and location of partyboats), and interviewer's personal skills. However, despite these potential sampling biases, we believe that our sample of Massachusetts partyboat angler names was still representative of the true population, and therefore sufficient for the purposes of this study.

Field staff for the collection of partyboat angler names and addresses were trained University of Massachusetts students. To decrease travel costs and to increase productivity, partyboat captains and mates were also employed at some sites to collect names and addresses of their patrons on specified days. A total of 1,064 usable names and addresses of partyboat anglers were collected for the followup mail survey. This 27% shortfall from our targeted sample size was primarily due to lower productivity than expected at some sites, and the unexpected departure of several field interviewers during the sampling period. The percentage of sample collected by wave (27% in Wave 3, 73% in Wave 4) closely approximated our target (30% in Wave 3, 70% in Wave 4).

DEVELOPMENT OF SOCIOECONOMIC SURVEY INSTRUMENT

Mail survey instrument questions were designed to address the specific objectives of this study (see "Introduction" section). Questionnaires for the three modes of interest (i.e., partyboat, private boat, and shore) were nearly identical with only minor differences in wording and mode-specific questions (Appendices A1, A2, and A3). Recreational-fishing-related socioeconomic questions which had already been tested and proven effective in previous studies (e.g., conducted at Texas A&M University and the University of Massachusetts), were used whenever possible. In some instances, new questions had to be developed; these questions were thoroughly reviewed inhouse for meaning, clarity, comprehensibility, and language.

Questionnaires were 16 pages long (on 7 x 8.5-inch pages), including a front cover and a back page for angler comments. Areas covered by the questionnaire included basic demographics, avidity (current and trends), species preferences, specialization level, trip expenditures, motivations, expectations, constraints, and attitudes towards fishery management. NMFS fishery economists were consulted in development of the economic expenditure section. For analysis purposes, the economic section of the survey split Massachusetts' coastal counties into the following two zones: Zone 1 (Barnstable, Dukes, Nantucket, Plymouth, Bristol, Suffolk, and Norfolk Counties) and Zone 2 (Essex and Middlesex Counties). Economic expenditure information was collected by zone, and a map (Appendix B) was provided to help anglers delineate zones. Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries staff were also consulted in overall questionnaire design, particularly on questions related to fishery management and the possible implementation of a saltwater fishing license.

IMPLEMENTATION OF MAIL SURVEY

In an attempt to maximize return rates, we followed the techniques for mail survey implementation described by Salant and Dillman (1994). All members of the sample were mailed a personalized (i.e., hand-signed, stamped, and addressed) advance-notice letter, reminding them that they had agreed to participate in the survey, and that they would be receiving their questionnaire within the following week. One-week later, a set of survey materials was mailed to all members of the sample. These materials included the questionnaire, a cover letter describing the intent of the survey, and a self-addressed stamped envelope for returning completed surveys. Two weeks after mailing the advance-notice letter, a thank you/reminder postcard was mailed to all members of the sample. This followup served to thank those who had already completed and returned their questionnaire, and to request a response from those who had not.

Five weeks after mailing the advance-notice letter, a second set of survey materials was sent to those who had not yet responded. This second survey package was identical to the first, except that the cover letter was revised to further encourage anglers to return completed surveys.

IDENTIFICATION OF ANGLER SUBGROUPS FOR ANALYSIS

Outdoor recreation participants generally display wide variation in their experiences, avidity, expertise, commitment, economic expenditures, and social interactions related to a particular activity. Connected to this variation are important sociological and psychological differences affecting motivations, expectations, desired outcomes, satisfaction levels, perceptions, and social norms. Outdoor recreation managers must recognize and accommodate these differences in order to provide satisfactory experiences to a widely diverse clientele.

Recreation Specialization

Recreation specialization is a concept and an area of study that attempt to describe the variation among participants of a particular activity (e.g., recreational fishing) through segmenting the population into meaningful and identifiable subgroups. Recreation specialization studies have segmented recreation participants into meaningful subgroups using a variety of variables including equipment, skill level, activity setting preferences, avidity, centrality to lifestyle, and expenditures. However, Ditton et al. (1992) pointed to the tautological reasoning behind defining specialization in terms of behaviors and preferences, and then using specialization to predict those same behaviors and preferences. They reconceptualized specialization into a testable theory by linking it with elements of "social worlds." A social world is defined as an "internally recognizable constellation of actors, organizations, events and practices which have coalesced into a perceived sphere of interest and involvement for participants" (Unruh 1979). Our theoretical foundation for segmenting anglers into specialization groups was taken from the Ditton et al. (1992) reconceptualization of recreation specialization.

Recreation specialization is important for fishery management because it recognizes that there is no such thing as an "average" angler. Anglers generally display wide variation in their experiences, avidity, expertise, commitment, economic expenditures, and social interactions related to fishing. Connected to this variation are important sociological and psychological differences affecting motivations, expectations, desired outcomes, satisfaction levels, social norms, and attitudes towards fishery management decisions. For example, specialization theory predicts that more-specialized anglers will have greater support for fishery management rules and regulatory procedures, place more importance on non activity-specific elements of the fishing experience (e.g., enjoying nature, relaxing, being with friends or family, etc.), place less importance on activity-specific elements of the fishing experience (i.e., catching fish), and have a greater financial and emotional investment in fishing as compared to less-specialized anglers.

Recreation Specialization Index Development

A specialization index developed by Salz and Loomis (2000), that segments anglers based on four main social world characteristics (i.e., orientation, experiences, relationships, and commitment), was utilized for this study. Mail survey questions were designed to measure each of these characteristics (see Appendices A1, A2, and A3, Questions 9-12). Question response options, consisting of statements describing a participant's connection to an activity relative to that particular characteristic, were ordered from least specialized (response = 1) to most specialized (response = 4) along a four-point scale. Anglers were segmented into four groups (ranging from least to most specialized) based on cumulative response scores to index items as follows:

TREATMENT OF POTENTIAL SAMPLING BIAS

Although our survey design was intended, to the extent possible, to sample a representative population of Massachusetts saltwater anglers (by mode), potential sampling bias still had to be addressed for each stage of sampling. The first stage involved the onsite collection of angler names and addresses at saltwater fishing locations throughout Massachusetts. A primary concern when sampling a population of recreational participants while they are actively participating in the activity of interest is that of avidity bias. Avidity bias refers to the fact that more avid participants are more likely to be encountered onsite, and, therefore, have a higher probability of being sampled. For example, an angler who fished from partyboats 10 days during our sampling period was 10 times more likely to be intercepted than an angler who only fished from a partyboat 1 day during that period. Avidity bias can be problematic if more avid participants differ from less avid participants in a way that is significant to the study. To correct for this potential bias, we created a weighting variable that would downweight more avid anglers, and upweight less avid anglers. This variable was the inverse of angler avidity (i.e., weighting factor = 1/avidity). Avidity was measured as the number of days fished recreationally in saltwater in Massachusetts in a particular mode during the past 12 mo. All analyses (except those in the "Economic Expenditure Analysis" section) were weighted by this variable (e.g., weighted means and weighted frequency distributions). Ideally, the weighting variable would have been the inverse of angler avidity only during our 4-mo sampling period. However, since these data were not available, 12-mo avidity was used instead. Weighting factors using 12-mo avidity should closely resemble the true weights (during our sampling period), since most Massachusetts saltwater fishing activity occurs from May through August.

The second type of potential sampling bias that we addressed was related to nonresponse. Nonresponse bias occurs when a significant percentage of the sample does not respond and nonrespondents differ from respondents in a way that is significant to the results. Nonresponse bias can be a problem at any stage of sampling. For our study, nonrespondents included both anglers who refused to give their names for the followup mail survey (i.e., initial refusals) and anglers who agreed to participate but did not follow through by returning the survey. While no data are available on initial refusals, our mail survey nonresponse rates ranged from 34.5% (private boat) to 49.5% (partyboat).

To test for nonresponse bias, we compared our mail survey respondents with those anglers intercepted onsite by the MRFSS for the waves corresponding with our sample period (i.e., Waves 3 and 4, 1998). The percentage of anglers refusing to cooperate on MRFSS intercepts for these two waves was small in all modes[2]. Therefore, by comparing mail survey respondents with MRFSS-intercepted anglers, we are essentially conducting a nonresponse check for both types of nonrespondents (i.e., initial refusals and survey not returned) simultaneously. For the private boat and shore modes, the MRFSS sample design was identical to ours, since MRFSS interviewers actually collected our sample. In addition, our partyboat sample design closely approximated the MRFSS design since we used the same site register, same site selection procedure, and same monthly targets. Both the 12-mo avidity in mode and the residence status (i.e., Massachusetts versus out-of-state) were used to compare mail survey respondents with MRFSS-intercepted anglers. Results of this comparison are summarized in Table 1. In general, differences between mail survey respondent and MRFSS-intercepted angler avidity and residence composition were relatively small. These results suggest that mail survey nonrespondents did not differ significantly from MRFSS-intercepted anglers for the variables investigated. While the possibility remains that nonrespondents differed from anglers on other variables of interest, our initial investigation suggests that nonresponse bias is not of great concern here.

DATA PROCESSING AND ANALYSIS

Returned usable surveys were entered into three datasets (one per mode) for error checking and data analyses purposes. Range checks, outlier analyses, and multivariable logic checks were performed, and corrections were made as necessary. In most cases, errors were converted to missing values, as it was not possible to determine positively the correct or intended value. Determinations of economic expenditure variable outliers were made in consultation with NMFS fishery economists experienced in working with such economic data. Most statistical analyses consisted primarily of weighted means and weighted frequency distributions (see earlier discussion of weighting procedures).

ECONOMIC EXPENDITURE ANALYSIS

In 1998, over 630 thousand saltwater anglers fished 3.4 million days in Massachusetts (NMFS 2000). Fishing from shore, a private boat, or a for-hire fishing boat offers an important leisure outlet for many individuals in the commonwealth, and also generates economic activity in the form of sales, income, and employment. During the course of a fishing trip, anglers purchase a variety of goods and services, spending money on bait, tackle, groceries, boat fees, lodging, restaurants, travel costs, and other trip-related expenditures. These purchases directly affect the sales, income, and employment of businesses that supply goods and services to saltwater anglers in Massachusetts. Businesses providing these goods and services must also purchase goods and services and hire employees, which in turn, generate more sales, income, and employment in the commonwealth.

Three levels of economic impacts result from purchases by saltwater fishermen: 1) direct, 2) indirect, and 3) induced. Direct impacts are the sales, income, and employment generated from initial purchases by anglers (e.g., bait and tackle stores or sporting goods stores selling bait to anglers). Indirect impacts are sales, income, and employment of support industries that supply the directly affected industries (e.g., bait and tackle stores must purchase bait from dealers or fishermen, tackle from wholesalers, and electricity from power supply companies, and must pay labor). Induced impacts represent the sales, income, and employment resulting from expenditures by employees of the direct and indirect sectors (e.g., bait and tackle store employees purchase groceries and incur utility bills). Total impacts equal the sum of direct, indirect, and induced impacts.

Input-output analysis (IOA) is the most common approach available for describing the structure and interactions of businesses in a regional economy. An IOA is capable of tracking the quantity and purchase location of expenditures by anglers, support businesses, and employees of the directly and indirectly affected industries. Also, IOA assessments can be used to reveal how anglers' expenditures affect the overall economic activity in a particular region, such as sales, income, and employment. For the analysis presented here, a regional IOA modeling system called IMPLAN (impact analysis for planning) was used to determine the economic importance of shore fishing, private boat fishing, and partyboat fishing to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and to two coastal subregions within the state (see Appendix B for map of Massachusetts Saltwater Fishing Zones).

Average daily trip-related expenditures per fisherman were computed from the 1998 survey of Massachusetts saltwater shore fishing, private boat fishing, and partyboat fishing. Mean expenditures were estimated for each mode of fishing in three geographical regions: 1) Zone 1 -- Norfolk, Bristol, Plymouth, Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket Counties, 2) Zone 2 -- Essex and Middlesex Counties, and 3) the entire state of Massachusetts. The average daily trip-related expenditures per participant were multiplied by the MRFSS estimates of total fishing days by mode in each geographical region in 1998 to derive total expense estimates.

Economic impacts were estimated by applying the total expense estimates to the appropriate IMPLAN sector multipliers (i.e., expressing relationships between sectoral economic activity) in each geographical region. Regional impacts were estimated for sales, income, and employment. Sales reflect total dollar sales generated from expenditures by anglers in the particular region. Income represents wages, salaries, benefits, and proprietary income generated from angler expenditures. Employment includes both full-time and part-time workers, and is expressed as total jobs.

The economic expenditure analysis differed from all other analyses in several important ways. First, expenditures were not analyzed by mode and specialization level (as with the other objectives) but instead by mode and geographic zone. Saltwater-fishing-trip-related expenditures were estimated by angler residence category (i.e., Zone 1, Zone 2, noncoastal Massachusetts, or out-of-state) and location of fishing trip (i.e., Zone 1 or Zone 2). The economic analysis also differed in its focus on the angler trip (and not the angler) as the unit of analysis. For the other objectives of this study, it was important to obtain a representative sample of Massachusetts saltwater anglers, and therefore, weighting was necessary to correct for avidity bias. However, for the economic analysis, weighting was not necessary since it was only important to obtain a representative sample of saltwater fishing trips (not anglers).

The 1998 Massachusetts saltwater fishing trip estimates needed to run IMPLAN were estimated based on MRFSS data[3]. However, only MRFSS coastal county resident trips were available at the level of detail necessary (i.e., by mode, angler county of residence, and county of trip). MRFSS noncoastal county Massachusetts resident and noncoastal county out-of-state resident trips were only available in aggregate form and not at the county level. Therefore, ratio estimators from the MRFSS intercept data were used to assign the noncoastal county resident trips to either Zone 1 or Zone 2. These ratio estimators were simply the proportion of noncoastal county resident MRFSS intercepts by residence (i.e., Massachusetts versus out-of-state), wave, and mode for 1998.


RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

A total of 511 partyboat, 470 private boat, and 269 shore mode questionnaires were returned in usable form (Table 2). Overall response rates were 50.5% for partyboat anglers, 65.5% for private boat anglers, and 61.4% for shore anglers.

Data analysis was divided into subsections according to seven project objectives. In addition to these seven subsections, two subsections are included for basic demographics and angler avidity, and for angler partyboat selection criteria. Each subsection (except those dealing with economic expenditure analysis and partyboat selection criteria) is further divided into four parts: three parts respectively discussing results for the three fishing modes (i.e., partyboat, private boat, and shore), and one part comparing results among fishing modes. Each subsection highlights the most significant findings related to that objective, and references a series of tables with summarized data. As discussed in the "Methods" section, to correct for potential avidity bias, all means and frequency distributions are weighted by the inverse of avidity (i.e., 12-mo, Massachusetts, saltwater trips, in specific mode).

MASSACHUSETTS RECREATIONAL SALTWATER ANGLER SEGMENTATION

Frequency distributions of responses to the four questions used to segment anglers into specialization groups were calculated for each angling mode (Table 3). For each specialization question, a response of "1" corresponded with specialization level 1 or "least specialized," a response of "2" corresponded with specialization level 2 or "moderately specialized," a response of "3" corresponded with specialization level 3 or "very specialized," and a response of "4" corresponded with specialization level 4 or "most specialized." Thus, an angler could be "least specialized" for one characteristic of specialization (e.g., relationships) and "highly specialized" for another characteristic (e.g., commitment). The four characteristics were combined to produce an overall level of specialization for each angler using the specialization index described earlier in the "Recreation Specialization Index Development" section.

Partyboat Anglers

More than two-thirds of partyboat anglers indicated they felt like "observers or irregular participants" when partyboat fishing, and less than 3% felt like "insiders to the sport" (Table 3). One-half of partyboat anglers reported having no established relationships with other partyboat anglers, and only 15% reported having established either "familiar" or "close" relationships.

Frequency distributions of partyboat angler specialization level by mode are shown in Table 4. Only 20% of partyboat anglers were categorized as either "very specialized" or "most specialized."

Private Boat Anglers

About one out of four (27.1%) private boat anglers felt like an "insider" to private boat fishing, and another 44.8% felt like "habitual of regular participants." Most private boat anglers reported they had established some relationships with other private boat anglers, and for many (45%), these relationships were described as "familiar" or "close."

Overall, 64% of private boat anglers were categorized as either "very specialized" or "most specialized" using our method for segmentation. The "least specialized" private boat angler group was extremely small (0.5%). This group was excluded from subsequent subgroup analyses according to specialization level due to its small sample size.

There are several possible explanations as to why the "least specialized" group made up such a small proportion of our sample. First, we should not rule out the possibility that this specialization group may, in fact, be much smaller in size than the other specialization groups for saltwater private boat anglers. This would be the case if the learning curve from "least specialized" to "moderately specialized" requires a relatively short time period. Second, nonresponse bias could also be a possible explanation if the probability of an angler returning our survey was positively correlated to the angler's specialization level. However, our nonresponse error checks do not support this explanation. Third, the choice of words we used for the "least specialized" response options could explain the low percentage of anglers selecting those options. Private boat anglers may have felt too embarrassed or ashamed to identify themselves with words such as "outsider," "uncomfortable," "unsure," or "uncertain," all of which may have strong negative connotations.

Our results suggest that "least specialized" private boat anglers are either more difficult to sample than more-specialized anglers, or that "least specialized" anglers are truly a small minority of the saltwater private boat angling population.

Shore Anglers

Nearly one-half (47.2%) of shore anglers felt like "an observer or irregular participant" when saltwater shore fishing, while only 16.1% felt like "insiders to the sport" of saltwater shore fishing (Table 3). The majority of surveyed shore anglers indicated that they had not established "familiar" or "close" relationships with other shore anglers.

Similar to private boat anglers, a very small proportion (4.5%) of shore anglers was grouped into the "least specialized" level (Table 4). This very small proportion resulted in sample sizes for the "least specialized" group of shore anglers being too small to include in subsequent subgroup analyses according to specialization level. Explanations as to why the "least specialized" group made up such a small proportion of shore anglers are similar to those discussed for private boat anglers.

Mode Comparison

In general, partyboat anglers appeared less connected to partyboat fishing than were either private boat anglers to private boat fishing or shore anglers to shore fishing. More than two-thirds of partyboat anglers indicated they felt like "observers or irregular participants" when partyboat fishing, and less than 3% felt like "insiders" to the sport. By contrast 27.1% of private boat anglers felt like "insiders" to private boat fishing and another 44.8% felt like "habitual or regular participants." One-half of partyboat anglers reported having no established relationships with other partyboat anglers and only 15% reported having established either "familiar" or "close" relationships. Most private boat and shore anglers said they established some relationships with other anglers in their respective modes, and for many (45% private boat, 42% shore) these relationships were described as "familiar" or "close." Partyboat anglers were also, in general, far less committed to partyboat fishing than were private boat or shore anglers to their respective modes of fishing.

In general, there were more highly specialized private boat anglers than highly specialized shore anglers, who were, in turn, more numerous than highly specialized partyboat anglers. Only 20% of partyboat anglers were categorized as either "very" or "most specialized," compared to 44% of shore anglers and 64% of private boat anglers.

BASIC DEMOGRAPHICS AND ANGLER AVIDITY

Partyboat Anglers

Nearly 80% of surveyed partyboat anglers were male (Table 5), and less than 6% indicated something other than "white" as their ethnic background. About one-half of the surveyed partyboat anglers were not residents of Massachusetts.

The group of "most specialized" partyboat anglers preferred full-day trips to half-day trips (Table 6). The proportion of partyboat anglers who did either evening/night or overnight partyboat fishing (in the previous year) increased with specialization level. Overnight trips, in particular, were almost exclusively made by "most specialized" partyboat anglers. As expected, years partyboat fishing, 12-mo avidity, age, and percent male all increased with partyboat respondent specialization level (Table 7). Whereas "least specialized," "moderately specialized," and "very specialized" partyboat anglers are evenly split between Massachusetts and out-of-state residents, a large majority of the "most specialized" partyboat anglers were from out-of-state. Although the sample size for this group was small, these results suggest that a significant proportion of the most committed, experienced, and knowledgeable Massachusetts partyboat anglers reside in other states.

Private Boat Anglers

An overwhelming majority of surveyed private boat anglers were white males (Table 5). Most surveyed private boat anglers were also Massachusetts residents. Similar to the partyboat mode, years fished, avidity, and percent male all increased with increasing specialization level among private boat anglers (Table 8).

Shore Anglers

Similar to the private boat mode, an overwhelming majority of shore anglers were white males (Table 5). A fairly large percentage of surveyed shore anglers were not Massachusetts residents (40.7%). Years fished, avidity, and percent male all increased with increasing specialization level among shore anglers (Table 9).

Mode Comparison

The partyboat survey had a greater proportion of female anglers (20.3%) than the other two modes (private boat 3.2%, shore 2.6%). A relatively large proportion of anglers were not residents of Massachusetts. However, this out-of-state residency was most evident in the partyboat (49.3%) and shore (40.7%) modes, and less so in the private boat mode (28.0%). Another difference between modes was that for partyboat anglers, specialization level increases with age, whereas age appeared unrelated to specialization level among private boat and shore anglers.

IDENTIFICATION AND EVALUATION OF MASSACHUSETTS ANGLER MOTIVATIONS, EXPECTATIONS, AND OUTCOMES

Partyboat Anglers

Anglers were asked to indicate how important 15 different reasons were for going saltwater fishing in Massachusetts in their respective modes. Responses were scored on a five-point Likert scale ranging from "1 = not at all important" to "5 = extremely important." On average, partyboat anglers rated "fun of catching fish" and "to be outdoors" as the two most important reasons (Table 10). Other highly rated reasons included "relaxation," "experience of the catch," and "to share experiences with others." The reason of "obtaining fish to eat" was rated as being only slightly to moderately important.

Partyboat anglers were asked to select their top three reasons (from the 15 given) for going saltwater partyboat fishing in Massachusetts. Responses to this question were different than what one would have predicted based on relative importance scores from Table 10. "For family recreation" was selected as the most important reason more frequently (18.7%) than any other reason, even though this response only ranked seventh in relative importance based on the five-point scale (Table 11). Similarly, "to share experiences with friends, family, others" was selected as the most important reason second-most frequently (17.9%), even though this reason tied for third in relative importance based on the five-point scale. In terms of relative importance, "share experiences with friends, family, others " scored the same (3.81) as "for experience of the catch" and "relaxation." However, far more anglers selected "share experiences with friends, family, others" (45.6%) as one of their top three reasons than selected "for experience of the catch"(24.8%) or "relaxation" (31.3%). These results suggest that for many partyboat anglers, the social aspects of partyboat fishing (and the family-related aspects in particular) are an extremely important reason for selecting this form of recreation. "Fun of catching fish" also ranked high as nearly half the partyboat anglers (46.1%) selected this as one of their top three reasons for partyboat fishing.

Reasons for partyboat fishing were also investigated according to specialization level (Table 12). In general, the importance of a reason for going partyboat fishing increased with specialization level for all reasons. This trend indicates that the more-specialized partyboat anglers have multiple reasons or motivations for going fishing, as opposed to less-specialized anglers who have fewer reasons. For example, "most specialized" partyboat anglers rated 11 (out of 15) reasons as being between "very" and "extremely" important, on average. In contrast, "least specialized" partyboat anglers did not rate any reason as being between "very" and "extremely" important, on average.

When anglers were asked to rank their top three reasons, "fun of catching fish" was ranked high by all specialization levels (Table 13). The importance of "relaxation" and to "get away from the demands of others" generally increased with specialization level, whereas the social aspects of partyboat fishing were more important for less-specialized anglers. However, one-fourth of the "most specialized" partyboat anglers ranked "to catch fish to share with others" in their top three, indicating a dimension to the social benefits of partyboat fishing that occurs after the trip is completed. For beginners, the novelty of partyboat fishing was an important reason, as nearly 35% of "least specialized" anglers ranked "to experience new and different things" as one of their top three reasons.

To investigate catch-related aspects of saltwater fishing, we asked anglers whether they agreed or disagreed with a series of statements related to catching fish. Almost two-thirds (65.9%) of partyboat anglers agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that "the more fish I catch the happier I am"; however, over 57% of partyboat anglers agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that "I would rather catch one or two big fish than ten smaller fish" (Table 14). About one-half (51.7%) of all surveyed partyboat anglers either agreed or strongly agreed that "a successful trip is one in which many fish are caught"; on the other hand, almost one-half (49.9%) of surveyed partyboat anglers agreed or strongly agreed with, and only 26.3% disagreed or strongly disagreed with, the statement that "a fishing trip can be a success even if no fish are caught."

Catch-related aspects of saltwater partyboat fishing were also investigated according to specialization level. More-specialized partyboat anglers were more likely to agree with the statement "I usually eat the fish I catch" (Table 15). "Least specialized" partyboat anglers were less concerned with the type of fish they caught than were the more-specialized groups.

Private Boat Anglers

On average, private boat anglers rated "relaxation" as the most important reason for going saltwater private boat fishing, followed by "fun of catching fish," "to be outdoors," and "to be close to the water" (Table 16). Reasons for going saltwater private boat fishing rated as less important included catching fish for consumption (i.e., either to eat or to share with other people) and testing equipment. Over 40% of private boat anglers selected "to share experiences with friends, family, others" as one of their top three reasons for going fishing (Table 17), trailing only the reasons of "relaxation" (49.3%) and "to be outdoors" (44.6%).

Table 18 shows mean responses by private boat anglers concerning the importance of various attributes of their fishing experience according to specialization level, and Table 19 shows the proportion selecting each reason as one of their top three according to specialization level. The importance of nearly every attribute of the private boat fishing experience increased with specialization level. This is not surprising since more-specialized anglers fish more often and should therefore have more reasons for going fishing, and should rank those reasons higher in importance.

A large proportion (75.6%) of private boat anglers either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that "a fishing trip can be a success even if no fish are caught" (Table 20). However, only 25.4% of private boat anglers either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that "when I go fishing I'm just as happy if I don't catch a fish." The responses to these two questions seem to indicate that while private boat anglers are motivated to fish for reasons other than catching fish, catching fish is an important factor in terms of their overall satisfaction. Only 19.9% of private boat anglers either strongly disagreed or disagreed with the statement that "I'm just as happy if I don't keep the fish I catch." This response suggests a fairly strong catch-and-release ethic among Massachusetts private boat saltwater anglers.

The importance of catching a particular type of fish increased with specialization level among private boat anglers (Table 21). The "most specialized" private boat anglers were more concerned with the size of the fish, and less concerned with the quantity, as compared to either moderately of very specialized groups.

Shore Anglers

On average, shore anglers rated "relaxation" as the most important reason for going saltwater shore fishing, followed by "fun of catching fish," "to be outdoors," and "to be close to the water" (Table 22). Consumption-related reasons (i.e., to eat or share fish with others), to test equipment, and to catch a "trophy" fish were among the least highly rated reasons to go saltwater shore fishing. Nearly one-half of shore anglers (49.2%) selected "relaxation" as one of their top three reasons for going saltwater shore fishing (Table 23).

Similar to the other two modes, the importance of most attributes of the shore fishing experience increased with increasing specialization level (Table 24), indicating that more-specialized anglers have more reasons to go fishing than do less-specialized anglers. When asked to rank their top three reasons for saltwater shore fishing, less-specialized anglers placed more emphasis on the "fun of catching fish" than did more-specialized anglers (Table 25). By contrast, the "most specialized" shore anglers placed more importance on the "challenge or sport" and "catching a trophy fish" than did less-specialized shore anglers.

Nearly 80% of shore anglers either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that "a fishing trip can be a success even if no fish are caught" (Table 26). Similarly, a large proportion of shore anglers indicated they were just as happy if they didn't keep the fish they caught. The importance of catching a particular type of fish increased with specialization level among shore anglers (Table 27). The "most specialized" group was more concerned with the size of the fish caught and less concerned with the quantity as compared to either the "moderately specialized" or "very specialized" groups.

Mode Comparison

Private boat anglers generally rated all attributes of the fishing experience as more important reasons for going private boat fishing than partyboat anglers or shore anglers for fishing in their respective modes. For example, private boat anglers on average rated 6 out of the 15 attributes as being between "very" and "extremely" important reasons to go private boat fishing. By comparison, on average, shore anglers rated only 3 out of 15 attributes as being between "very" and "extremely" important reasons to go shore fishing, and partyboat anglers rated no attributes as being between a "very" and "extremely" important reason to go partyboat fishing. Partyboat anglers rated "for family recreation" as a more important reason to fish than did either private boat or shore anglers. For all three modes, anglers rated "fun of catching fish," "to be outdoors," and "relaxation" among the top three reasons to go fishing in their particular mode. "To obtain fish to eat" was rated by anglers from all modes, on average, as between "slightly" and "moderately" important.

Anglers were also asked to rank their top three reasons for fishing. "For family recreation" (18.7%) and "to share experiences with friends, family and others" (17.9%) were selected as the most important reason to go partyboat fishing more often than any other reasons. By contrast, the top two reasons selected as most important by private boat and shore anglers were "relaxation" and "to be outdoors." Only 16.5% of private boat anglers and 18.8% of shore anglers selected "for family recreation" as being one of their top three reasons to go fishing in their respective modes. Nearly one out of three (32.2%) partyboat anglers selected "for family recreation" as being one of their top three reasons to go partyboat fishing. These results suggest that partyboat angler motivations to saltwater fish are more connected to family than are private boat or shore angler motivations to saltwater fish.

Motivations to fish were also compared across modes according to specialization level. Major differences were found comparing the consumptive aspects of fishing across modes for the "most specialized" anglers. "Most specialized" partyboat anglers rated both "to obtain fish to eat" and "to catch fish to share with others" as being between "very" and "extremely" important reasons to fish. By comparison, "most specialized" shore anglers rated these two consumptive attributes as being between "slightly" and "moderately" important. "Most specialized" private boat anglers rated "to obtain fish to eat" as being between "slightly" and "moderately" important, and "to catch fish to share with others" as being a "moderately" important reason to fish. For all three modes, the importance of obtaining fish to eat seemed to increase generally with increasingly angler specialization level.

These results are counter to what is generally predicted by current recreation specialization theory (Ditton et al. 1992). Previous studies have shown that the relative importance placed on consumptive aspects of fishing (as compared to nonconsumptive aspects) declines as the angler becomes more specialized. However, much of this research was done on freshwater anglers who may have very different motivations to fish than do saltwater anglers. Our results suggest that saltwater anglers may be more consumption oriented than freshwater anglers. Furthermore, among highly specialized saltwater anglers, partyboat anglers tend to be more consumption oriented than either private boat or shore anglers.

Catch-related aspects of saltwater fishing were also compared across fishing modes. About one out of four partyboat anglers (26.3%) disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement that "a fishing trip can be a success even if no fish are caught." By comparison only 9.2% of private boat anglers and 5.1% of shore anglers either disagreed or strongly disagreed with this statement. Partyboat anglers, on average, were more likely than either private boat or shore anglers to agree with the statement that "a successful trip is one in which many fish are caught." Thus, catch-related aspects may be more important to partyboat anglers, on average, than to either private boat or shore anglers. Partyboat anglers were also more likely than either private boat or shore anglers to agree (or strongly agree) with the statement that "I usually eat the fish I catch." "Most specialized" partyboat anglers were, on average, less concerned about the type of fish they caught as compared to "most specialized" private boat and shore anglers.

EVALUATION OF DEMAND FOR MASSACHUSETTS SALTWATER FISHING OPPORTUNITIES AS IT RELATES TO FISHERY RESOURCE CONDITION/AVAILABILITY, ACCORDING TO MODE

This objective explores various reasons why anglers do not go saltwater fishing in Massachusetts more often. Reasons explored included real physical constraints (e.g., time, cost, and distance) and psychological constraints (e.g., crowding, expectations, satisfaction attainment). For purposes of this analysis, reasons for not fishing were grouped into three categories: resource-related reasons, fishing-mode-specific reasons, and other reasons.

Partyboat Anglers

For partyboat anglers, resource-related reasons were generally not important factors limiting their partyboat fish ing avidity (Table 28). For example, only one out of five partyboat anglers agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that "I can't catch enough fish to suit me." The three reasons partyboat anglers ranked highest for not fishing from partyboats more often were related to other demands on time, other leisure activities, and partyboats being too crowded. The majority (~70%) of partyboat anglers were generally satisfied overall with their partyboat fishing experiences in Massachusetts (Table 29).

According to specialization level, the costs of partyboat fishing and travel distance to sites were more important reasons for not fishing for "least specialized" partyboat anglers as compared to more-specialized anglers (Table 30). Similarly, other demands on time, other leisure activities, and difficulty finding others to fish with were viewed as more constraining by less-specialized anglers. Overall satisfaction with partyboat fishing in Massachusetts generally increased with angler specialization level (Table 31).

Private Boat Anglers

The two reasons private boat anglers ranked highest for not fishing more often were "too many other demands on my time" and "other leisure activities take up my time" (Table 32). Reasons related to fishery resource condition were generally not seen as affecting private boat fishing avidity. Overall, private boat anglers were very satisfied with both their private boat fishing experiences and boat dockage and launch sites in Massachusetts (Table 33).

Other demands on time, other leisure activities, and difficulty finding others to fish with were viewed as more constraining by less-specialized private boat anglers than by more-specialized private boat anglers (Table 34). Similarly, less-specialized private boat anglers were more constrained by not always having access to a boat as compared to more-specialized anglers. "Most specialized" private boat anglers were slightly more satisfied overall with the fishing opportunities in Massachusetts as compared to "moderately specialized" or "very specialized" private boat anglers (Table 35). However, "most specialized" private boat anglers were less satisfied with the boat dockage and launch sites available in Massachusetts as compared to "moderately specialized" private boat anglers (Table 35).

Shore Anglers

Similar to the other modes, shore anglers indicated that too many other demands on their time and other leisure activities were the most constraining reasons for not fishing more often (Table 36). Shore anglers generally did not consider the inability to catch enough fish (or keepers) to suit their needs as important fishing constraints. Nearly 80% of shore anglers either disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement that "I believe an increase in my fishing activity would be bad for the resource." Nearly three out of four shore anglers (72.3%) agreed or strongly agreed that the saltwater shore fishing opportunities in Massachusetts met their needs for a satisfying experience (Table 37). Travel distance to shore fishing sites was a more constraining reason for fishing less often for "most specialized" anglers than for either "very specialized" or "moderately specialized" anglers (Table 38). "Very specialized" and "most specialized" shore anglers expressed a high degree of overall satisfaction with their saltwater shore fishing experiences in Massachusetts (Table 39).

Mode Comparison

Constraints, or reasons why anglers did not participate in fishing more often, were compared across modes. The majority of anglers in all three modes indicated that not being able to catch (or keep) enough fish to suit them was not an important reason why they did not fish more often. In general, lack of fish or low catch rates were not generally considered as being important reasons for fishing less often. The proportion of anglers who agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that "I believe an increase in my fishing activity would be bad for the resource" was also low for all three modes (10% partyboat, 4.4% private boat, 5.1% shore). This response suggests that either anglers believe the resource is fairly healthy, or that they simply do no think that one angler can have a negative impact. Anglers often do not realize the cumulative impact that recreational fishing can have, and based on comments we received, are more likely to blame commercial fishing for stock declines. Cost of fishing was seen as a more important constraint among partyboat anglers and private boat anglers as compared to shore anglers. About one-third of partyboat anglers and 27% of private boat anglers agreed or strongly agreed that the cost of saltwater fishing was a reason they did not fish more. By comparison, only 7.6% of shore anglers agreed or strongly agreed that the cost of fishing was a reason for fishing less often.

For all three modes, the biggest apparent constraints were "too many other demands on my time" and "other leisure activities take up my time." In general, the importance of these time-related constraints decreased with increasing specialization level for anglers in all three modes. Our results were consistent with Ritter et al. (1992) who found that the constraint dimension "time" was indicated by nearly 75% of anglers they surveyed. Within the "time" dimension, they found that "work commitments" and "lack of time (general)" were the top-ranking constraint categories overall.

EVALUATION OF ANGLER SWITCHING AMONG FISHING MODES

For this study, anglers were categorized into mode groups (i.e., partyboat anglers, private boat anglers and shore anglers) based on the particular mode in which they were fishing when they were intercepted in the field. However, these groupings do not imply that anglers only fished in one mode, or that the mode assigned was their primary mode of interest (e.g., most avid, "most specialized"). Mode designations were assigned for descriptive and clarifying purposes only. In fact, our results show that Massachusetts anglers tend to fish in multiple modes, water types (i.e., freshwater and saltwater), and states during the course of a year. For this objective, we explored the diversity in fishing trip types taken by Massachusetts anglers, and in particular, the prevalence of angler switching from partyboat trips to other trip types in recent years. We also explored reasons for the decline given by anglers whose partyboat fishing trips have decreased recently.

Partyboat Anglers

In general, partyboat anglers were very active in other fishing modes and water types compared to their partyboat activity (Table 40). For example, while partyboat anglers averaged only 1.6 days of partyboat fishing in Massachusetts in the previous year, they spent 2.5 days saltwater shore fishing in Massachusetts, and 17.2 days freshwater fishing (all modes), in the previous year. "Most specialized" partyboat anglers spent as much time partyboat fishing out-of-state (6.5 days in the previous year) as they did in Massachusetts (6.6 days in the previous year), and also averaged 23.5 days of freshwater (all modes) fishing in the previous year (Table 40).

Overall, 35% of surveyed partyboat anglers indicated they had purchased a freshwater fishing license in their state of residence in 1998 (Table 41). The percentage of partyboat anglers who had purchased a freshwater license in 1998 increased with specialization level.

The popularity of wildlife watching as an alternative form of marine recreation has increased in recent years. Whale-watching boats, in particular, have replaced partyboats at popular coastal tourist locations, and may provide competition for the partyboats still located at these sites. From our survey, 28% of partyboat anglers overall indicated they had taken a whale-watching cruise during the previous year (Table 42). One Massachusetts partyboat captain told us that he converted from fishing to a "nature cruise" once a week with the assistance of an Audubon Society naturalist. More research needs to be done on this growing, nonconsumptive form of marine recreation.

In order to study general trends in fishing avidity, anglers were asked if their avidity (by mode) had decreased, increased, or stayed the same during the periods from 1988 through 1993, and from 1994 to 1998. More partyboat anglers reported an increase (35.8%) than a decrease (13.2%) in Massachusetts partyboat trips between 1994 and 1998 (Table 43). However, this increase probably represents the fact that a large proportion of partyboat anglers took their first partyboat trip in 1998. More partyboat anglers reported an increase rather than a decrease in saltwater shore trips for both time periods (i.e., 1988-1993 and 1994-1998), although many reported no activity in this mode (Table 43). It is interesting to note that 7.8% of partyboat respondents indicated taking no partyboat trips between 1997 and 1998, despite the fact that they were supposedly contacted in 1998 after a partyboat fishing trip. This response suggests that some anglers misinterpreted this question by not counting the trip they were actually surveyed after.

To investigate mode switching in more detail we focused only on those anglers who reported a decrease in their partyboat fishing avidity from 1994 to 1998. Among partyboat anglers who reported a decrease in their partyboat fishing avidity from 1994 to 1998, most also reported declining charter boat, saltwater private boat, saltwater shore, and freshwater fishing avidity over the same time period (Table 44). For these anglers, in general, the decline in their partyboat activity seems to be a part of a general drop in their overall fishing activity.

Private Boat Anglers

Private boat anglers tended to focus their fishing activity in the private boat mode, switching between freshwater and saltwater throughout the course of a year (Table 45). Private boat anglers were also somewhat active in shore fishing in both freshwater (5.2 days in the previous year) and saltwater (5.9 days in the previous year) in Massachusetts. Overall, private boat anglers spent very little time partyboat fishing in Massachusetts (0.3 days in the previous year). Interestingly, the number of private boat freshwater days fished in Massachusetts decreased with increasing angler specialization level, while the number of private boat freshwater days fished by anglers from other states increased with specialization level (Table 45). Overall, 52% of private boat anglers indicated they had purchased a freshwater fishing license in their state of residence in 1998 (Table 41).

Significantly more private boat anglers reported a decrease (20.4%) than reported an increase (5.9%) in partyboat activity from 1994 to 1998 (Table 46). For this same time period, 62.7% of private boat anglers reported an increase in their saltwater private boat fishing avidity compared to only 8.4% reporting a decrease. Private boat anglers also seemed to increase their saltwater shore fishing activity during these years. These results suggest that some private boat anglers were changing their fishing activity away from partyboats and towards more saltwater private boat, and to some extent, shore fishing.

Among private boat anglers who reported a decrease in their partyboat fishing avidity from 1994 to 1998, many also reported declining charter boat and freshwater fishing avidity over the same time period (Table 47). However, an overwhelming majority (84.7%) reported an increase in their saltwater private boat fishing avidity, and most (59.2%) also reported an increase in their saltwater shore avidity. These results provide further evidence for mode switching (among private boat anglers) away from partyboat, charter boat, and freshwater fishing and towards more saltwater private boat and shore fishing from 1994 to 1998.

Shore Anglers

Shore anglers averaged 8.3 days saltwater shore fishing, 0.8 days partyboat fishing, and 2.8 days saltwater private boat fishing in Massachusetts in the previous year (Table 48). Shore anglers were, in general, more avid in freshwater than in saltwater, and spent nearly as many days freshwater private boat fishing (10.8) as they did freshwater shore fishing (12.3) in the previous year. "Most specialized" saltwater shore anglers were far more avid in terms of partyboat fishing than were less-specialized saltwater shore anglers. However, most of their partyboat trips were on out-of-state partyboats (1.5 days in the previous year), not on Massachusetts partyboats (0.6 days in the previous year). Overall, 59% of shore anglers indicated that they had purchased a freshwater fishing license in their state of residence in 1998 (Table 41).

More shore anglers reported a decrease (16.1%) than an increase (7.1%) in partyboat activity from 1994 to 1998 (Table 49), while shore avidity seemed to increase during this period. Thus, some mode switching from partyboat to shore is evident among our shore survey anglers as well.

Among shore anglers who reported a decrease in their partyboat fishing avidity from 1994 to 1998, a plurality also reported declining charter boat, private boat, and freshwater fishing avidity, and increasing saltwater shore avidity, over the same time period (Table 50).

Mode Comparison

Surveyed private boat anglers averaged 10.3 saltwater private boat fishing days in the previous year in Massachusetts. By comparison, surveyed shore anglers averaged 8.6 saltwater shore fishing days in the previous year in Massachusetts, while surveyed partyboat anglers averaged only 1.6 saltwater partyboat fishing days in the previous year in Massachusetts. Thus, partyboat fishing is more of a rare-event recreational activity for many anglers compared to the other two modes of fishing. Whereas surveyed private boat and shore anglers did very little partyboat fishing in Massachusetts (an average of 0.3 and 0.8 days in the previous year, respectively), partyboat anglers were fairly active in the other two modes. For example, partyboat anglers spent, on average, 2.5 days saltwater shore fishing in Massachusetts, 11 days freshwater shore fishing, and 6.2 days freshwater private boat fishing in the previous year. "Most specialized" partyboat anglers averaged 6.6 days of Massachusetts partyboat fishing in the previous year, but spent nearly as many days (6.5) partyboat fishing from other states in the previous year.

Shore anglers (59%) were more likely to have purchased a freshwater fishing license in their state of residence compared to private boat anglers (52%) and partyboat anglers (35%). The proportion of anglers purchasing a freshwater license increased with specialization level for shore and partyboat anglers. Our results suggest that anglers highly specialized in a particular type of fishing (e.g., saltwater partyboat) do not, in general, focus their entire fishing effort on that one type of fishing, but rather are more likely to participate actively in other types of fishing as well. Therefore, the specialization indicators used to segment anglers (i.e., commitment, relationships, experience, and orientation) may carry over from one type of fishing to another. If an angler is highly specialized in one type of fishing (e.g., partyboat), then there may be a higher probability that he/she will also be highly specialized in another type of fishing (e.g., freshwater shore). More research is needed to clarify the relationship between specialization level for different types of fishing.

To further investigate the recent decline in Massachusetts partyboat fishing, we focused our analysis on anglers who indicated their Massachusetts partyboat fishing avidity had declined from 1994 to 1998. Of those partyboat anglers who indicated their Massachusetts partyboat fishing avidity had declined from 1994 to 1998, a greater percentage also reported a decrease (compared to those reporting an increase or no change) in both their saltwater private boat and shore fishing avidity in Massachusetts during the same time period. By contrast, of those private boat anglers who indicated their Massachusetts partyboat fishing avidity had declined from 1994 to 1998, the majority indicated an increase in their saltwater private boat and shore fishing avidity in Massachusetts during the same time period. Of those shore anglers who indicated their Massachusetts partyboat fishing avidity had declined from 1994 to 1998, the majority indicated an increase in their saltwater shore fishing avidity, but a decrease in private boat fishing avidity, in Massachusetts during the same time period.

EVALUATION OF TRENDS IN ANGLER DEMAND FOR SPECIES-SPECIFIC MASSACHUSETTS PARTYBOAT FISHING ACTIVITY

Partyboat Anglers

Anglers were asked to rank their top three preferred species to catch when saltwater fishing (by mode) in Massachusetts. Atlantic cod (27.2%) was the most preferred species among partyboat anglers, followed by striped bass (17.7%), bluefish (13.6%), and summer flounder (11.1%) (Table 51). A relatively large percentage (15.6%) of partyboat anglers indicated they did not have a preferred species to catch. Differences in species preferences were also explored according to specialization level (Table 52). Preference towards catching black sea bass, tautog, and scup seemed generally to increase with increasing level of partyboat angler specialization. By contrast, "most specialized" partyboat anglers were less interested in striped bass, bluefish, and summer flounder as compared to less-specialized partyboat anglers. MRFSS intercept data (weighted by fishing effort in trips) were used to determine what species Massachusetts partyboat anglers actually said they were targeting. Table 53 shows the percentage of partyboat trips targeting each species. From 1996 to 1998 there was a sharp dropoff in the percentage of angler trips targeting Atlantic cod. However, in 1999 the percentage of partyboat trips targeting cod increased, although not to the level of 1996. The percentage of MRFSS-intercepted partyboat anglers targeting scup increased from 2.3% in 1996 to 9.6% in 1999.

The difference between what partyboat anglers reported as their preferred species on our survey (Table 51) and what they reported as targeting during MRFSS intercepts (Table 53) may reflect the level of control partyboat anglers have over species targeted. Typically, the partyboat captain decides what species the boat will target on a given day, and may switch species mid-trip, depending on a variety of factors (e.g., weather, tide, catch rates, etc.). Anglers do have some control over species targeted by means of their selecting a particular boat. However, the species they prefer to catch may not always be an option due to seasonal availability, driving distance to a partyboat targeting that species, or cost considerations.

Partyboat anglers were asked a series of questions regarding the importance of the species that partyboats target as it relates to their fishing activity. Table 54a shows that, in general, partyboat anglers did not agree with the following statement as a reason for fishing from partyboats less often: "partyboats don't target the types of fish I prefer to catch." When asked how important were the types of fish that partyboats target as a factor in deciding to go partyboat fishing versus some other kind of fishing, the modal response was "moderately important" (Table 54b). The importance of this factor generally increased with partyboat angler specialization. Nearly 40% of "most specialized" partyboat anglers indicated that the species that partyboats targeted was an "extremely important" factor in deciding on whether to go partyboat fishing as compared to some other type of fishing. The relative importance of partyboat target species in determining which particular Massachusetts partyboat to fish with increased greatly with increasing partyboat angler specialization level (Table 54c).

Private Boat Anglers

Striped bass is by far the most preferred species to catch among private boat saltwater anglers in Massachusetts (Table 55). This holds for all specialization levels (Table 56). Bluefish were identified as an important second option for preferred species among most surveyed private boat saltwater anglers. The percentage of private boat trips targeting striped bass in Massachusetts increased from 1996 to 1998, before dropping off slightly in 1999, whereas the percentage targeting bluefish and Atlantic cod decreased after 1996 (Table 57).

Shore Anglers

Similar to private boat anglers, an overwhelming majority (70.3%) of Massachusetts saltwater shore anglers preferred to catch striped bass over any other species (Table 58). Bluefish are important as a secondary species among Massachusetts saltwater shore anglers. More than one-third (36.2%) of shore anglers had no preferred third species after striped bass and bluefish. According to specialization level, the importance of striped bass and bluefish as a preferred target species seemed to increase with shore angler specialization level (Table 59). By contrast, winter flounder was a more important target species among "moderately specialized" anglers than it was among "most specialized" anglers. From 1996 through 1998, the proportion of saltwater shore trips in Massachusetts targeting striped bass generally increased, while the proportion targeting bluefish decreased (Table 60). This trend reversed somewhat in 1999, although striped bass were still by far the most-targeted species on Massachusetts saltwater shore fishing trips in 1999.

Mode Comparison

Private boat (75.9%) and shore (70.3%) anglers overwhelmingly selected striped bass as their most preferred species. No other species was selected by more than 8% of anglers from either mode. By contrast, the most-preferred-species selections by partyboat anglers were more evenly distributed, with five species (Atlantic cod 27.2%, striped bass 17.7%, bluefish 13.6%, summer flounder 11.1%, and haddock 8.2%) receiving more than 8% of the vote. Partyboat anglers do, however, have less control than either shore or private boat anglers over actual species targeted, since the partyboat captain generally makes this determination. A much larger percentage of partyboat anglers (15.6%) than of private boat (0.6%) and shore (7.6%) anglers indicated no primary species preference. This pattern probably reflects the fact that more partyboat anglers were "least specialized," and that many of them were intercepted during their first lifetime partyboat fishing trip.

Also, when comparing species preferred across modes, it is important to consider species availability differences. Shore anglers do not have access to offshore species that can be targeted by private boat and partyboat anglers. Similarly, private boat anglers with small boats typically fish within bays and state territorial waters, and therefore do not have access to open-ocean, deepsea species often targeted by partyboats.

Differences in species preferences with increased specialization level were more pronounced for partyboat anglers than for the other two modes. In particular, "most specialized" partyboat anglers were far less interested in targeting striped bass and summer flounder than were "least specialized," "moderately specialized," or "very specialized" partyboat anglers. Similarly, "most specialized" partyboat anglers were far more interested in targeting black sea bass, tautog, and scup than were "least specialized," "moderately specialized," or "very specialized" partyboat anglers. Striped bass and bluefish were both very popular preferred species choices for shore and private boat anglers across all specialization levels.

DETERMINATION AND EVALUATION OF ECONOMIC EXPENDITURES AND ECONOMIC IMPACTS ACCORDING TO ECONOMIC SECTOR AND FISHING MODE

Total economic impacts generated from saltwater fishing expenditures by mode and geographical area are summarized in Table 61. The $4.5 million spent by partyboat anglers in Massachusetts in 1998 generated $6.9 million in sales, $2.7 million in personal income, and 142 jobs in the commonwealth. In contrast, the $190.9 million spent by private boat anglers in Massachusetts generated $197.0 million in sales, $79.1 million in income, and approximately 3,000 jobs. Angler expenditures on shore fishing trips in Massachusetts ($121.3 million) resulted in an additional $146.0 million in sales, $60.2 million in personal income, and 2,477 jobs. In total, partyboat, private boat, and shore angler expenditures in Massachusetts in 1998 generated $350 million in sales, $142 million in income, and approximately 5,600 jobs in the commonwealth.

Total partyboat, private boat, and shore angler expenditures in Zone 1 in 1998 ($247 million) generated approximately $267 million in sales, $110 million in income, and 4,100 jobs (within Zone 1). Total partyboat, private boat, and shore angler expenditures in Zone 2 in 1998 ($59 million) resulted in approximately $60 million in sales, $24 million in personal income, and 1,000 jobs (in Zone 2). Partyboat expenditures and impacts were similar across the two zones, while private boat and shore impacts were generally 4-6 times higher in Zone 1. The sum of the expenditures and impacts shown for Zone 1 and Zone 2 are not tantamount to the estimates shown for Massachusetts. The Massachusetts estimates capture expenditures and impacts that occur anywhere in the state, including noncoastal counties that are to the west of the Zone 1 and Zone 2 boundaries. Thus, the expenditures and impacts shown for Massachusetts are slightly higher than the sum of the expenditures and impacts that occurred in Zone 1 and Zone 2.

The estimates of each category of trip-related expenditures derived from the survey are presented in Tables 62-70. Expenditures and impacts generated in Massachusetts by mode are presented first (Table 62, Table 63 and Table 64), followed by expenditures and impacts accruing to Zone 1 by mode (Table 65, Table 66 and Table 67) and then to Zone 2 by mode (Table 68, Table 69, and Table 70).

Partyboat fees paid to for-hire owners were the single most important expense category for generating sales, income, and jobs from partyboat angler expenditures in all three Massachusetts geographical regions. Meals at restaurants and lodging were also important expense categories for generating sales, income, and jobs from partyboat angler expenditures in all three regions. Parking was an important expense category for generating income in Zone 2.

Expenditures for meals at restaurants and for lodging generated the highest impacts for anglers fishing from private boats in all three geographical regions. Bait and tackle purchases, launch/docking fees, and boat fuel purchases by private boat fishermen further contributed significant impacts to all three geographical regions.

Expenditures for meals at restaurants and for lodging generated the highest impacts for anglers fishing from shore in Zone 1 and throughout the commonwealth. Expenditures for meals at restaurants and for bait and tackle purchases generated the highest impacts in Zone 2.

In some cases, many of the dollars spent by saltwater anglers in Massachusetts actually impact the economies of other states and countries. For example, of the $399,000 spent in 1998 by partyboat anglers on automobiles (within Massachusetts), only $118,000 had a direct impact on sales in the Massachusetts economy (Table 62). A similar situation existed for purchases of bait and tackle, groceries, and boat fuel in all three Massachusetts geographical regions. Of the 14 expenditure categories analyzed in this study, four (i.e., automobiles, bait and tackle, groceries, and boat fuel) directly impacted sales in the economies of other regions, with the single exception of grocery sales to private boat owners in Zone 2. For the remaining 10 categories, 100% of the expenditures remained within the three geographical regions (i.e., total expenditures equaled direct impacts on sales).

The results are conservative in the sense that they include only trip-related angler expenses. Auxiliary expenditures on fishing equipment (i.e., rods and reels), clothing, and incidental purchases by nonfishing companions were not included, even though they may have occurred as a direct result of fishing. Taken as a whole, the economic impacts presented in this analysis provide an indication of the dependence of Massachusetts' economy on marine recreational fishing expenditures.

EVALUATION OF MASSACHUSETTS RECREATIONAL SALTWATER ANGLERS' ATTITUDES TOWARD SPECIFIC FISHERY MANAGEMENT ACTIONS

Anglers were asked a series of questions on their support or agreement with various fishery management actions. Tables 71-79 summarize the responses.

Partyboat Anglers

The majority of partyboat anglers opposed the idea of a mandatory saltwater fishing license (Table 71). Opposition to a saltwater license was consistent for both Massachusetts residents and out-of-state anglers in all modes. Opposition to a saltwater license increased with specialization level among partyboat anglers (Table 72).

In general, surveyed partyboat anglers did not agree with the statement that "fishing regulations are too restrictive" as a reason for not saltwater fishing more often (Table 73). Partyboat anglers indicated tremendous support for the use of minimum size limits as a tool to manage Massachusetts' recreational saltwater fisheries (Table 74). Nearly three-fourths of partyboat anglers also either "supported" or "strongly supported" both daily bag limits and seasonal restrictions as fishery management tools.

According to specialization level, differences in attitudes towards particular fishery management tools were found between "most specialized" partyboat anglers and the other three less-specialized groups (i.e., "least," "moderately," and "very"). "Most specialized" partyboat anglers showed stronger support for minimum size limits and slot limits, but less support for bag limits and seasonal restrictions, as compared to less-specialized anglers (Table 75). "Most specialized" partyboat anglers also indicated fairly strong opposition to prohibiting harvest of striped bass in federal waters and to simultaneously reducing both the minimum size limit and the daily bag limit of a hypothetical species.

Private Boat Anglers

The majority of private boat anglers opposed the idea of a mandatory saltwater fishing license (Table 71). The proportion opposing a license altogether was 70.0% for Massachusetts residents and 77.5% for out-of-state residents. No major differences in opinions about a saltwater license were found across private boat angler specialization levels.

Private boat saltwater anglers generally disagreed with the statement that "fishing regulations are too restrictive" as a reason for not saltwater fishing more often (Table 73).

Private boat anglers generally supported the use of minimum size limits, bag limits, slot limits, and seasonal restrictions as tools to manage Massachusetts' recreational saltwater fisheries (Table 76). Opinions among private boat anglers were split on "not allowing harvest of striped bass in federal waters." As many private boat anglers either supported or strongly supported this regulation (36.5%) as did oppose or strongly oppose it (35.5%).

Private boat anglers' attitudes towards the use of the fishery management tools explored here did not vary tremendously according to specialization level (Table 77).

Shore Anglers

The majority of surveyed shore anglers opposed the idea of a mandatory saltwater fishing license (Table 71). The percentage opposing a license was 75.1% for Massachusetts resident and out-of-state anglers combined. Shore anglers from other states showed more support (19.2%) than Massachusetts residents (7.8%) for a license with a fee, while the reverse was true for a "no fee" license (2.3% out-of-state versus 11.3% Massachusetts). No major differences in opinions about a saltwater license were found across shore angler specialization levels.

In general, shore anglers disagreed with the statement that "fishing regulations are too restrictive" as a reason for not saltwater fishing more often (Table 73). Shore anglers generally supported the use of minimum size limits, bag limits, slot limits, and seasonal restrictions as tools to manage Massachusetts' recreational saltwater fisheries (Table 78). Support for bag limits and seasonal restrictions increased with specialization level among shore anglers (Table 79). Interestingly, "very specialized" shore anglers were more opposed to the following fishery management tools than either "moderately" or "most specialized" shore anglers: 1) restricting striped bass harvest in federal waters, 2) simultaneously reducing both the minimum size and daily bag limit of a hypothetical species, and 3) simultaneously increasing both the minimum size and daily bag limit of a hypothetical species. More investigation is needed to determine why this intermediate specialization group might be more opposed to the fishery management tools examined than either less-specialized or more-specialized anglers.

Mode Comparison

The percentage opposing a license altogether was greater for private boat (72.7%) and shore (75.1%) anglers than for partyboat anglers (56.6%). The difference was primarily made up by a much larger percentage (22.1%) of "no opinions" among partyboat anglers as compared to private boat (3.2%) or shore (4.3%) anglers. The larger percentage of "no opinions" among partyboat anglers reflects the fact that more partyboat anglers are "least specialized" and may have no vested, long-term interest in the sport. Opposition to a saltwater fishing license increased with increasing specialization level among partyboat anglers. By comparison, there was no obvious relationship between saltwater fishing license opposition and specialization level among either private boat or shore anglers.

Comparisons were made among the three modes regarding angler attitudes towards the use of fishery management tools for Massachusetts' recreational saltwater fisheries. Anglers from all modes showed support (or strong support) for minimum size limits, daily bag limits, and seasonal restrictions. Partyboat anglers, in general, were somewhat supportive of slot limits and prohibiting the sale of fish by recreational anglers, although they were less supportive than either private boat or shore anglers regarding these fishery management tools. For example, 56.6% of private boat anglers and 65.1% of shore anglers supported or strongly supported no sale of fish by recreational anglers. By contrast, only 45.6% of partyboat anglers supported this fishery management tool.

IMPORTANCE OF VARIOUS ITEMS IN THE SELECTION OF A PARTICULAR PARTYBOAT ON WHICH TO FISH

Partyboat anglers were asked to rate the importance of several items in their selection of a particular partyboat on which to fish. "Courteous and helpful crew" was the most important factor overall as two-thirds of anglers rated this "very important" or "extremely important" in their selection (Table 80). Other important factors included "previous personal experience" and "cost of boat fees." The importance of a "courteous and helpful crew" and "previous personal experience" both increased with respondent specialization level (Table 81). Similarly, the importance of the number, size, and species typically caught, of the captain's reputation, and of boat size also increased with increasing specialization level.


ENDNOTES

  1. Personal communication: D.A. Van Voorhees, National Marine Fisheries Service, Fisheries Statistics & Economics Division, Silver Spring, MD.
  2. Personal communication: K. Gillis, National Marine Fisheries Service, Fisheries Statistics & Economics Division, Silver Spring, MD; August 2000.
  3. Personal communication: A. Lowther, National Marine Fisheries Service, Fisheries Statistics & Economics Division, Silver Spring, MD; May 25, 2000.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The authors acknowledge the following funding sources that contributed to the completion of this study: NOAA - University of Massachusetts Cooperative Marine Education and Research Program, the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, and the Department of Natural Resource Conservation at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. We thank the following individuals whose assistance with the data collection phase of this project was greatly appreciated: Kelly Finn, Bill Perry, Rebecca Sozanski, Brad Curcuru, Jon Duval, Zeke Kaufman, Erin Hughes, Bethaney Campbell, Rebecca Hull, Ed Labinski, Josefina Lago, Kara Aubochon, Greg Penesis, Molly Timko, Elizabeth Defeo, Christina Gutierrez, and David Creque. We also recognize the contributions and expert advice received from the following NMFS employees: David Van Voorhees, Eric Thunberg, Kirk Gillis, and Alan Lowther. Finally, this study would not have been possible without the cooperation of the Massachusetts partyboat captains and crew who assisted in the development of the sample frame, and the participation of numerous individual saltwater anglers in completing the mail survey instrument.


REFERENCES CITED

Ditton, R.B.; Loomis, D.K.; Choi, S. 1992. Recreation specialization: reconceptualization from a social worlds perspective. J. Leisure Res. 24(1):35-51.

Gray, G.W.; Kline, L.L.; Osborn, M.F.; Salz, R.S.; Van Voorhees, D.A.; Witzig, J.F. 1994. MRFSS user's manual -- a guide to the National Marine Fisheries Service recreational fisheries statistics survey database. Atl. States Mar. Fish. Comm. Spec. Rep. 37.

NMFS [National Marine Fisheries Service, Fisheries Statistics & Economics Division]. 2000. Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey <http://www.st.nmfs.gov/st1/recreational/index.html>. Accessed July 11, 2000.

Ritter, C.; Ditton, R.B.; Riechers, R.K. 1992. Constraints to sport fishing: implications to fisheries management. Fisheries (Bethesda) 17(4):16-19.

Rossi, P.H.; Wright, J.; Anderson, A. 1983. Handbook of survey research. New York, NY: Academic Press.

Salant, P.; Dillman, D.A. 1994. How to conduct your own survey. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.

Salz, R.J.; Loomis, D.K. 2000. Development and verification of a specialization index for angler segmentation. In: Kyle, G., comp., ed. Proceedings of the 1999 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium; 1999 April 11-14; Bolton Landing, NY. U.S. For. Serv. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-269.

Unruh, D.R. 1979. Characteristics and types of participation in social worlds. Symbol. Interact. 2:115-130.

Acronyms

IMPLAN
= impact analysis for planning
IOA
= input-output analysis
MRFSS
= (NMFS’s) Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey
NMFS
= National Marine Fisheries Service

back to top

www.nefsc.noaa.gov
NMFS Search
Link Disclaimer
webMASTER
Privacy Policy
(File Modified Jul. 01 2016)

This page has had 1 visits today, 1 visits this week, 39 visits this month, 129 visits this year