Title

Saltwater anglers' attitudes towards marine protected areas

Authors

RJ Salz
DK Loomis

Publication Date

2004

Journal or Book Title

FISHERIES

Abstract

Attempts to establish “no-take” marine reserves in the United States have engendered strong opposition from sportfishing interest groups. This study investigated northeastern saltwater anglers' attitudes towards several hypothetical marine protected area (MPA) alternatives. Support for MPAs decreased with increasing level of restrictiveness. Anglers attitudes towards the establishment of “catch-and-release” MPAs were somewhat divided. The majority of those surveyed were opposed to “no-take” reserves. If “no-take” reserves are to be accepted by anglers, managers need to convince them of the advantages of incorporating this innovative management tool over more traditional fishery regulations alone. Anglers were more opposed to MPAs that restrict recreational fishing within state waters as compared to similar MPAs sited in federal waters. In general, anglers from New York and New Jersey held more favorable MPA attitudes than did anglers from Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. Anglers who were members of a fishing organization were more opposed to MPAs than were non-members. Anglers whose most preferred species was striped bass were more opposed to “no-take” reserves than were anglers whose most preferred species was summer flounder. Attitudinal data on MPAs collected early in the planning process can help highlight important differences in management preferences among stakeholder subgroups, identify management alternatives, justify preferred management actions, and reduce the likelihood of alienating important stakeholder groups.

DOI

10.1577/1548-8446(2004)29[10:SAATMP]2.0.CO;2

Volume

29

Issue

6

Pages

10-17

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