Impacts of New Regulations on North Carolina Fishermen: A Classificatory Analysis
Griffith, David Craig
The findings presented here derive from eight months of research designed to address the following objectives: 1. To develop a classification system that identifies and defines North Carolina fishers in terms of dependence on the resource, gear type, effort, motivation for fishing, and core and secondary species they target; 2. To determine how different groups of fishers will be impacted by different regulatory scenarios; 3. To evaluate North Carolina’s licensing system in terms of its ability to monitor numbers, characteristics, and behaviors of commercial and recreational fishers; 4, To assess the experiences of other states in developing and administering licensing programs. Accomplishing these objectives involved several phases of field research and analysis, all of which were oriented toward gaining a view of North Carolina fishing—commercial and recreational—from a variety of perspectives. Because of the highly politicized environment of the past two years, it was necessary to triangulate our data sources to reduce respondent bias. Thus, we used a variety of methods to cross-check, assess, and validate information received from different sources representing different political and economic interests in the fisheries. Our respondents included: a) recreational anglers whom we located through sportfishing lists, DMF data, and an intercept methodology; b) charter boat captains and pier owners; c) commercial fishermen and their families all along the coast and throughout the Albemarle-Pamlico Estuarine System c) seafood processors and seafood processing workers; and d) fishermen and marine regulatory personnel in North Carolina and in 12 other states. Our methods of observation and data collection included: visits to fishing centers around the state (cultural mapping); surveying individuals in other states regarding their licensing programs and experiences, including government officials and fishermen; surveying recreational fishermen, charter boat captains, and pier owners; conducting in-depth interviews with commercial fishers; and eliciting feedback from members of fishing families concerning regulatory and other social problems in the context of focus groups.
Based on Work Conducted in Accordance with the Proposal Entitled Identifying and Defining Fishers and Gear in North Carolina to Develop Licensing as an Effective Management Tool. ICMR Tech Report 96-06. Research Assistance By: Fiona Abarno, John Brown, Brian Ellis, Douglas Hobbs, Vernon Kelley, and Patrick Stanforth; Special Contributions from: J. Stephen Thomas, Cecelia Formichella, and Mark Moberg; University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama
East Carolina University