Stripers Forever on MA Angling Survey

MA Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) has announced that a Saltwater Angler Permit Survey will be sent to many recreational permit holders. The purpose of the survey is to measure the socio-economic value of recreational saltwater fishing in MA.The contribution of recreational fishing to the State’s economy is often measured by the number of jobs and the amount of sales and incomes that are supported by the expenditures of saltwater recreational fishermen. While this approach provides important information, it does not consider the value that anglers place on being able to go saltwater fishing. How valuable is saltwater fishing in Massachusetts to you? According to a Boston Globe article “state and federal officials say the survey will be helpful to regulators who…. make decisions about allocating fish stocks between commercial and recreational users”, and that according to Nichola Meserve at DMF, the survey results will be used to prioritize competing uses, i.e., between commercial and recreational uses. In light of these purposes of the survey, SF requests that members who are asked to respond to the survey recognize that it is important that they do respond, and that their responses will influence the value DMF and the National Marine Fisheries Service places on the Massachusetts recreational fishery. SF does not presume to advise our members how to respond, only to recognize that their responses may well determine the economic value DMF places on the recreational fishery. Here is the announcement from MA DMF:

Commonwealth of Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries 251 Causeway Street, Suite 400 Boston, MA 02114 (617) 626.1520 Fax (617) 626.1509 February 28, 2012 MarineFisheries~Advisory 2012 MASSACHUSETTS SALTWATER ANGLER PERMIT SURVEY The Division of Marine Fisheries (MarineFisheries)~is collaborating with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to collect information on the Commonwealth’s recreational saltwater fishery to measure its economic value. In addition to providing important information about the socio-economic value of saltwater fishing in Massachusetts, this federally funded study will help to validate frequently used economic evaluation methods by applying an innovative direct approach in which some saltwater permit holders are presented with a cash offer in exchange for giving up their permit and thus the right to fish in marine waters for the remainder of 2012. Other permit holders will receive a survey asking for either their willingness to sell their 2012 permit for a particular price or their willingness to have paid a different amount for their 2012 permit.MarineFisheries~is issuing this Advisory to attest to the legitimacy of this angler permit survey, including the cash offers that some individuals will receive, and to assure its constituents that~in no way will the information from the survey be used to modify fees~for Massachusetts’ recreational saltwater fishing permits. Participation in the survey is voluntary; however,~MarineFisheries~highly encourages your response based on the important information that will be gathered. Past studies on the contribution of recreational fishing to the Commonwealth’s economy have considered the number of jobs and the amount of sales and incomes that are supported by the expenditures of saltwater recreational fishermen, but have not included the value that anglers place on being able to go saltwater fishing. This type of information holds great worth; for example, it would be necessary for a comprehensive estimate of economic losses to the recreational fishery if for some reason Massachusetts’ waters had to be closed to fishing.MarineFisheries~is maintaining a list of~Commonly Asked Questions~about the 2012 Massachusetts Saltwater Angler Permit Survey under the recreational permit page of its website:~ www.mass.gov/marinefisheries. General questions about~MarineFisheries’involvement can be directed to Nichola Meserve (nichola.meserve@state.ma.us). Technical questions regarding the study should be directed to Quantech, Inc., the statistical analysis and survey research firm contracted by NMFS to conduct the survey. Please contact Daemian Schreiber at 800-229-5220 ext 7831, or~ mavs@quantech.com