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Economics & Social Sciences Research Program

Gulf of Alaska Trawl Fishery, Rationalization Sociocultural Study  

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The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) is considering the implementation of a new, yet to be defined, bycatch management program (which could include a catch share component) for the Gulf of Alaska trawl fishery. Changes in how fisheries are managed result in changes to the people within the fishery. This research project aims to study the affected individuals both prior to and after the implementation of the rationalization program. The data collected will provide a baseline description of the industry as well as allow for analysis of changes that may face individuals and communities. The measurement of these changes will lead to a greater understanding of the social impacts the management measure may have on the individuals and communities affected by fisheries regulations. To achieve these goals, it is critical to collect the necessary data prior to the implementation of the rationalization program so that the effects of the program may be better isolated.

The initial round of survey implementation will occur primarily through in-person surveys and semi-structured to unstructured interviews in spring and summer 2014. Staff from the Economic and Social Sciences Research (ESSR) program have developed the questionnaire and are waiting for Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval. In person interviews will likely take place in Seattle (WA), Newport (OR), Kodiak (AK), Sand Point (AK) and King Cove (AK) (locations may change slightly). Interviewers will discuss the research with study participants, administer the surveys, be available to answer any questions, code the surveys for anonymity and confidentiality, and collect all the surveys upon completion. In the event individuals are unavailable to meet in person, various options will be available. Hard copy surveys will be provided either in person or via the mail, and electronic versions will be available either for distribution via email or accessible over the internet.

We hope to reach all individuals, partners, and businesses that have any connection to the Gulf of Alaska trawl fishery. Types of respondents expected include fishermen, vessel owners, vessel operators, groundfish License Limitation Program license owners/holders, crew aboard groundfish trawl vessels, catcher-processor operations, shoreside processors, tenders, and other individuals who are stakeholders in the fishery. In addition, the survey/interview pool will include any businesses that are directly tied to the groundfish trawl communities through the supply of commercial items to include (but not limited to) net suppliers, fuel suppliers, or equipment suppliers. If you are a Gulf of Alaska trawl groundfish participant interested in participating in the survey, please provide your contact information to Dr. Amber Himes-Cornell , NOAA, Alaska Fisheries Science Center, 7600 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115 USA and we will make sure you are included in the survey.

By Dan Lew and Amber Himes-Cornell and Stephen Kasperski


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