April 26, 2016

State fisheries agency plans survey of commercial fishermen

Commercial fishermen who fish in the Atlantic Ocean off of North Carolina may receive a questionnaire in the mail or by phone call in the coming weeks and months for an N.C Division of Marine Fisheries survey.

The division plans to contact approximately 300 fishermen between now and August and ask them information about their fishing activity, perceptions, fishing expenses and demographics. The information gathered in the survey will be used to improve the state’s estimates of the economic impacts of commercial fishing and the effects of fishing regulations. It will also assist managers in making informed decisions on fisheries topics.

Fishermen will be asked questions about the species they commonly target, the gears they use, their business structure, their average trip and annual fishing expenses, demographic information, such as education, age, and household income, as well as their opinions on fishery conflicts and regulations and their reliance on commercial fishing. 

Individual answers to questions will be kept strictly confidential. However, the cumulative results from all survey participants will be included in a written report that will be made available to the public.

A fisherman who receives such a call can verify that the person calling is working with the division on this survey by asking the caller to verify his or her participant identification number (PID). This number is located on the bottom left corner of all North Carolina commercial fishing licenses.

The DMF says that it is very important that fishermen participate in the survey and answer as many questions as possible for the survey results to truly represent those who fish commercially in the Atlantic Ocean off  North Carolina. The results of the survey are taken very seriously and often guide fisheries managers in making rules that affect fishing activities within the survey area.

For more information, contact John Hadley, division socio-economics program manager, at 252-808-8107 or [email protected].

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