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Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative

Fisheries Uses and Values Project

Interview Process (recreational fishermen)

What to expect during the interview

boatAs part of our survey design we categorized the recreational fishing community into recreational fishery user groups: pier/shore, kayak, dive/spearfish, private vessel, and commercial passenger fishing vessels (CPFV). All sectors except CPFV will use our online tool for the interview process. The CPFV fishermen will be interviewed in-person using the same methods we do for the commercial fishermen interviews.

Recreational fishermen participating in the online interview will be asked a series of questions about each fishery of interest, and their personal experience. The bulk of the interview will focus on characterizing the fishing grounds and their relative importance to each respondent. This is done using an imaginary bag of 100 pennies, which are allocated to areas of higher use and greater importance. Participants will complete a form that will capture this information through our web mapping tool (OceanMap), which contains electronic charts and a series of tools for entering information. Respondents will draw or describe areas directly on this electronic interface, allocate pennies, and capture other important information. OceanMap collects the information in a geospatial, relational database that forms the basis for the subsequent analysis.

What happens with the information?

Ecotrust analysts in our Portland, Oregon, office will standardize and compile all the responses. These are then summarized and result in a series of maps that show the total extent of the fishing grounds for each fishery, as well as the areas of greater use and significance. Gradations of color will indicate areas where more pennies were allocated, effectively showing areas that are more frequently used and/or more important. These intermediary products will be validated in a series of follow-up meetings with the recreational fishing community in order to make sure that the information was captured correctly.

Due to the sensitive nature of this information, only Ecotrust staff (operating under a strict confidentiality protocol) will handle the raw data generated during the interviews. All information collected in the interviews is anonymous and confidential on the individual level. All analyses and results will be presented in aggregate form, and will be reviewed in aggregate form by participating fishermen from each sector. The information will be used to create a comprehensive picture of the recreational fishing use patterns and values along California's south coast, and may also be written up in a peer-reviewed journal.

Results from this project will be made available to the fishermen and MLPA Initiative staff for use in the context of the MLPA Initiative and the discussion, implementation, and management of marine protected areas in state and federal waters off California-specifically the South Coast Regional Stakeholder Group and Science Advisory Team.

All participants, whose explicit consent will be recorded by Ecotrust personnel, agree to let their information be used in this manner.

Why participate? Why tell the truth?

This project is designed to bring better information to the MLPA and other MPA processes in California, using fishermen's knowledge of the fishing grounds and giving an explicit place for their socioeconomic values. The information collected in this project considerably improves on what is currently available. Using the better, more spatially refined information from the fishermen respondents interviewed for this project helps overcome the "garbage in, garbage out" problem that has plagued other marine planning processes. There is every incentive to tell the truth: this project is a unique opportunity to bring fishermen's knowledge directly to bear on MPA planning in California. Any strategic reporting or misrepresenting the actual fishing grounds has the potential to do more harm than good, recreating the "garbage in, garbage out" problem. We have designed the methods and process to minimize this problem, and will work very closely with fishermen and the Regional Stakeholder Group on validating and verifying the information collected in this project.

Your willingness to participate and/or to refer fishermen we should contact is not only appreciated, but indeed vital to the success of this project.

Our Work

Community-Based Fisheries Management

Marine Planning

Marine Life Protection Act Initiative

Life-Cycle Assessment of Salmon Fisheries


Learn More

Incorporation of Spatial and Economic Analyses of Human-Use Data in the Design of Marine Protected Areas, Conservation Biology, 12/22/10.

Ecotrust & MLPA Initiative FAQ (23kb pdf)

Interview Process (commercial)

Interview Process (recreational)

Interview Sign-up (recreational)

Fishermen Presentation (North Coast) (1.0mb pdf)

Fisheries Uses and Values Project - Commercial Fishery Questionnaire (2008) (256Kb pdf)

North Coast Information Packet:

Plans for the upcoming North Coast interview process: North Coast Information Packet (65kb pdf)


Field Notes

California's Coastal Reserves by Daniel Etra, July 2007


Charles Steinback
Director of Marine Planning
tel: 503.467.0777
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Cheryl Chen
Marine Project Manager
tel: 503.467.0812
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Jon Bonkoski
GIS Analyst
tel: 503.467.0804
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Jennifer Bloeser
Marine Planning Business Manager
tel: 503.467.0785
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