Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Local, national, and international efforts to address the issue of derelict fishing gear are often limited by resources and costs. Managers and policymakers have implemented various preventative, impact reducing, and curative measures to decrease derelict fishing gear abundance and impacts, but stakeholder support is essential for success. To identify stakeholder preferences and the most efficient measures to address the issue of derelict blue crab pots in Chesapeake Bay, we distributed a stated preference survey with a discrete choice experiment to 1,032 licensed commercial fishers in Virginia and received a 42% response rate. The choice experiment consisted of hypothetical scenarios with two alternatives that included a combination of derelict pot mitigation activities potentially paired with incentives, and a third alternative for maintaining the status quo. The probability that the average respondent would participate in derelict pot mitigation activities ranged from 0.46 (SE=0.07) for “Recycle at facility on land,” to 0.03 (SE=0.02) for “Pot modification.” Willingness to accept estimates were similarly variable, ranging from US $61 (SE=129) to participate in “Recycle at facility on land,” to US $1,449 (SE=359) for “Pot modification.” Non-monetary management incentives (e.g., bushel limit increase, pot limit increase, or season extension) generally did not induce participation in mitigation activities; however, heterogeneity observed in preferences of fishers could be used to target different segments of the population to participate in specific actions. Addressing the complex problems caused by marine debris, especially derelict fishing gear, is costly, and understanding stakeholder preferences and decision-making can help identify the most cost-effective solution.
Derelict fishing gear, Commercial pot fishery, Random utility model, Discrete choice experiment, Blue crab, Marine debris
Accepted manuscript version.
DelBene, James A.; Scheld, Andrew M.; and Bilkovic, Donna Marie, Preferences for derelict gear mitigation strategies by commercial fishers (2021). Marine Policy, 132, 104662.
Available for download on Sunday, October 01, 2023