Volume 70

What are the Factors Affecting Trip Satisfaction for the For-hire Industry in South Carolina in relation to the Black Sea Bass bag limit?

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Date: November, 2017

Pages: 326-327

Event: Proceedings of the Seventy Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Merida, Yucatan

Country: México


The marine charter/headboat industry is a worldwide economically important recreational activity that thrives in tourist destinations such as the Gulf and Caribbean. Trip satisfaction for clients is important to understand in order to inform regulation and aid for-hire fishing businesses. This study took place in South Carolina, located in the South Atlantic region of the U.S. Black sea bass (Centropsis striata) is a popular recreational species and in recent years recreational harvest limits have undergone several management changes. In this study, perceptions and impacts of recreational bag limits were used to assess the effect of bag limits on trip satisfaction on charter/headboats. To evaluate the factors that determine trip satisfaction and assess how bag limits affect trip satisfaction, a multi-method research design was employed using qualitative and quantitative methods. Captain, crew and customers were the target participants. Direct behavior observation was employed while onboard fishing trips. Interviews were conducted with captain and crew, and questionnaire surveys were provided to customers to evaluate factors of trip satisfaction. Preliminary results indicate that the drivers of trip satisfaction for customers include catching a fish and taking home fish. For captain and crew, bag limits seem to have some effect on trip satisfaction. The results of this study have relevance to areas in the Gulf and Caribbean region that depend on tourism and for areas balancing conservation and economic impact when managing fisheries with for-hire components. The use of this multi-method research design could be applied in concentrated areas of charter/headboat businesses to evaluate trip satisfaction in the Gulf and Caribbean region, aiding fisheries managers and charter businesses alike in decisions on management.

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