Master of Science (MS)


Agricultural Economics

Document Type



Socioeconomic and policy information is important to fisheries management in order to assess potential social and economic impacts of proposed fishing regulations. Previous surveys which collect this type of data for the recreational for-hire (RFH) fishing industry in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico were conducted in 1987 and 1997. The third Gulf-wide survey was conducted in 2010 to update the socioeconomic and policy data available on the RFH industry. More specifically, the survey collected captain, vessel, and trip characteristics, firm and trip financial data, targeted species, and opinions on policy issues and hurricane impacts. State license information indicated that 3,315 captains were licensed to operate in the Gulf in 2009. Surveys were sent to 2,305 captains between March and June 2010. Overall, 689 responses were received with an approximate response rate of 33 percent. Because survey administration paralleled events of the Deepwater Horizon blowout and oil spill, data was examined for evidence of recall bias through the use of Discriminant Analysis and logistic regression analysis. These assessments attempted to predict when surveys were completed by examining respondent, operating, and financial characteristics. Evidence of recall bias was not found, and no adjustments were made to financial data. Respondents were categorized using effort and license information into head, charter, and guide boat operating classes. Results of the survey are presented through costs, earnings, and attitudinal profiles for operating classes on the Gulf and state/regional levels. Statistical differences of means between operating classes and states/regions were examined using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and Kruskal-Wallis tests. Data and results presented under this study constitute the most comprehensive socioeconomic and policy data currently available on the Gulf RFH fishing industry.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Caffey, Rex H