West Coast Groundfish Trawl Fishery Social Study
A longitudinal study to measure impacts of the catch shares program on the fishing industry and related fishing communities over time.
In 2011, the West Coast Groundfish Fishery began management under a catch shares program. Scientific research in other fisheries that have adopted quota or catch share type management systems has shown impacts on fishermen and fishing communities. Industry members, including fishermen, processors, and equipment suppliers, are likely to notice changes in the fishery. The type and degree of change will depend on the characteristics of the fishery and the management system.
In this study, we set out to understand and describe individuals and fishing communities, their connections, and the degree of involvement in the West Coast Groundfish Fishery. We collect new information through survey responses and interviews with fishing industry members. The data collected will provide a greater understanding of the human dimension of the fishery.
We are conducting this research repeatedly over time to generate a baseline description of the fishery both before and after the management change. Repeated studies will show how the human dimensions of the fishery have changed over time. Capturing snapshots of the fishery helps us identify and measure social impacts that have occurred as a result of the catch-shares implementation, and any amendments that occur over time.
We work with industry members to collect social and cultural information through interviews, focus groups, and a survey tool. Our contact with industry members is mainly in-person and over the phone and electronically when necessary.
This study provides an opportunity for industry members to communicate unique information about the fishery. The information we collect expands our knowledge of fishing communities and their links to the groundfish fishery and other fisheries. This project will improve our ability to describe fishing communities and provide a more accurate representation of those communities. The more information we have about the fishery's human dimension, the more social data can be made available and contribute towards improving fisheries management.
2010 Baseline Data Collection
We conducted our first data collection in the Fall of 2010, before the implementation of the program. We gathered data in communities from Bellingham, WA, to Morro Bay, CA.
2012 Data Collection
In 2012, we collected the first round of data after the implementation of the program. The data we gathered duplicated the data collected in 2010 and included new information specific to the catch shares program.
2015/2016 Data Collection
We began a third round of data collection in the Fall of 2015/2016. This data collection is unique and reflects information several years after implementation and over a year after the program's quota shares became transferable. The data collected duplicates the information collected in the prior years and includes new questions regarding the fishery's latest activities. The data was pertinent as it reflects the most change in the system to date. We compared three data sets to contribute to the 5-year program review.
Future Data Collection
We plan to continue data collection on a five-year rotation from 2016. As amendments to the fishery's management continue to change, impacts on the industry and the communities continue to develop and change. Some impacts may not present until years after implementation. Routine data collection will allow us to monitor changes and contribute to future reviews of the program.
Participate in the Study
If you would like to schedule an appointment with us for a researcher to meet you in person or to contact you over the phone, to provide you the survey, or to answer any questions and further discuss the research, please email us at NWFSC.firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll do our best to make the appropriate arrangements.
Russell, S.M., M. Van Oostenburg, A. Vizek. 2018. Adapting to Catch Shares: Perspectives of West Coast Groundfish Trawl Participants. Coastal Management. 46:6, 603-620,doi:https://10.1080/08920753.2018.15222491.
Steiner, E., S. Russell., A. Vizek, L. Pfeiffer, A. Warlick. 2018. Crew in the West Coast Groundfish Catch Share Program: Changes in Compensation and Job Satisfaction. CoastalManagement. 46:6, 656-676. doi:https://10.1080/08920753.2018.1522495.
Cramer, L.A., Flathers, D., D. Caracciolo, S. Russell, F. Conway, 2018. Graying of the Fleet: Perceived Impacts on Coastal Resilience and Local Policy. Marine Policy, 96:27-35.
PFMC and NMFS. 2017. West Coast Groundfish Trawl Catch Share Program: Five-year review. Approved by the Pacific Fishery Management Council November 16th 2017, Costa Mesa, CA.
Russell. S.M., A. Vizek, M. Van Oostenburg. In prep. The Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Social Study: Part 1- A Multi-Year Analysis by Study Participant Role. Program.U.S. Dept. Commer., NOAA Tech Memo. NMFS-NWFSC-10X
Russell. S.M., A. Arias-Arthur, K. Sparks, A. Varney. 2016. West Coast Communities and Catch Shares: The Early Years of Social Change. 2016. Coastal Management. 44(5), 1-11.
Calhoun. S., F. Conway, S. Russell. 2016. Acknowledging the Voice of Women: Implications for Fisheries Management and Policy. Marine Policy. 74. 292-299.
Russell, S.M., K. Sparks, A. Arias-Arthurs, and A. Varney. 2014. The Pacific Groundfish Fishery Social Study: An Initial Theme Based Report. Agenda Item J5b. NWFSC Report 5. November 2014. Report for the Pacific Fishery Management Council. Available online from, https://www.pcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/J5b_NWFSCRpt5_Social_NOV2014BB.pdf.