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.
The surveys are being mailed to a randomly selected sample of 2012 Massachusetts saltwater permit holders. Participation by individuals that receive a survey is voluntary; however, MarineFisheries highly encourages a 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org). 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 email@example.com.
*As amended March 19, 2012