Social Science Research in the Southeast
Socioeconomic and cultural research on the use and management of living marine resources.
Social Science Research Overview
We conduct applied socioeconomic and cultural research on the use and management of living marine resources under federal jurisdiction from North Carolina to Texas and in the U.S. Caribbean. Our research:
Interprets available fisheries information from an economic and cultural perspective.
Designs data collection programs to support socioeconomic research.
Develops models and estimates relationships to evaluate the economic effects of fishery policies.
Evaluates the sociocultural effects of fishery policies on anglers and fishing communities.
Provides research results and policy advice to fishery management councils.
Supplies social sciences support for other NOAA Fisheries’ programs.
Ongoing Economic Data Collections
We conduct continuous economic data collections for regularly managed fisheries. Some of these collections include economic surveys which annually sample a percentage of federally-permitted vessels in the region, like the Coastal Fisheries Economic Survey and Shrimp Fisheries Economic Survey. We collect information on for-hire (eg charter or head boat vessels) fishing trip prices to understand the economics of the industry. These collections are used to socioeconomic baselines, assess financial and economic performance of fisheries, and develop models to evaluate management proposals.
We conduct economic research to facilitate the evaluation of current and future regulatory alternatives. The need for economic research comes from the regulatory function of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act because management actions implemented to prevent overfishing and rebuild overfished stocks affect the human and economic environment.
Both current and long-term research focus on the value derived by individuals, business entities, and the nation from the use and existence of living marine resources, and the measurement of how benefits and usage change over time in response to changes in resource abundance and regulation. The focus is on behavioral relationships and models suitable to quantify the likely effects of alternative management policies on the commercial and recreational fishing sectors.
We conduct socio-cultural research to develop baseline data about the lifestyles, social networks and communities of commercial and recreational fishermen in the southeast. Guided by National Standard 8 (NS8) in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, this research focuses on measures of dependence and engagement in fisheries.
Primary data are collected through rapid appraisal techniques, ethnographic interviews, and formal questionnaires. Secondary data about coastal communities are assembled from information generated by the U.S. Bureau of the Census and other sources.
The collection of socio-demographic and ethnographic data about fishermen and their communities is accomplished through contracts, in-house fieldwork, and the assistance of student interns from the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS) , which is a NOAA/academic cooperative research institute located at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS) .
Examples of socio-cultural research include: perspectives on seasonal closures and fisherman’s perceptions of possible socioeconomic impacts on fishing practices, families and community.