• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Main






Title: 2003 opinion survey of U.S. Virgin Island Recreational Fishing Club members
CITATION PDF VIEWER THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/CA01300941/00001
 Material Information
Title: 2003 opinion survey of U.S. Virgin Island Recreational Fishing Club members
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Messineo, Jennifer
Publisher: Bureau of Fisheries, Division of Fish and Wildlife, Department of Planning and Natural Resources
Place of Publication: St. Croix, USVI
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: CA01300941
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of the Virgin Islands
Holding Location: University of the Virgin Islands
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Downloads

This item has the following downloads:

RecFisherSurvey2004 ( PDF )


Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
    Main
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
Full Text













2003 Opinion Survey of U.S. Virgin

Island Recreational Fishing Club

Members







Jennifer Messineo
And
K. Roger Uwate


Bureau of Fisheries
Division of Fish and Wildlife
Department of Planning and Natural Resources
U.S. Virgin Islands


February 2004









INTRODUCTION

Biological surveys are only one part of any assessment of fisheries and marine resources when
developing management strategies (Gordon and Uwate 2003). It is also important that the
opinions and insights of user groups be heard and considered. Without such input, assessment
and management of these resources would be incomplete.

In 2001, at the request of the St. Thomas/St. John Fisheries Advisory Committee, the Division of
Fish & Wildlife (DFW) completed an opinion survey of commercial fishers (see Uwate et al
2001). The results identified issues the user group views as problems and priorities.

In FY 2002, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service mandated that each state (and territory) develop a
strategic plan for fish and wildlife (see Gordon and Uwate 2003). In response to this mandate,
DFW initiated work on a U.S. Virgin Islands fish and wildlife strategic plan.

As part of this plan, user group opinions and insights were solicited and obtained through
opinion surveys. Opinion surveys were completed for commercial fishers as well as the marine
recreational industry in the U.S. Virgin Islands (Gordon and Uwate 2003). This report
documents the opinions of recreational fishing club members in the U.S. Virgin Islands.


METHODOLOGY

The Universe The universe was defined as members of the two existing recreational fishing
clubs in the U.S. Virgin Islands: (1) the Virgin Islands Game Fishing Club (VIGFC) on St.
Thomas, and (2) the Golden Hook Fishing Club on St. Croix.

The Questionnaire The questionnaire used in this survey was modified slightly from the ones
used in Gordon and Uwate (2003). The draft modified questionnaire was reviewed by DFW and
a member of the VIGFC.

The questionnaire was a single page so that it would not be a burden to respondents. A copy of
the questionnaire is attached in Appendix 1.

Fielding Participation in this survey was voluntary.

On St. Thomas, the questionnaire was mailed to members of the VIGFC in the monthly mailing
on 5/15/03. Nine responses were obtained. Another wave of mailings was planned for the July
VIGFC monthly mailing. However, the Executive Director of the VIGFC became very ill and
no monthly mailings were completed until 10/3/03. Seven additional responses were received
based on this second mailing. After discussion with VIGFC officials, permission was granted to
field the questionnaire at the Wahoo Windup Fishing Tournament on 11/9/03. An additional 4
responses were obtained from this effort.









On St. Croix, 18 surveys were completed at the 4h Annual Guy-Gal Reel Challenge on 5/16/03.
Additional surveys were completed by telephone and personal contacts. This effort continued
from May to June 2003.


RESULTS

Of the 19 Virgin Islands Game Fishing Club respondents, two also belonged to the Golden Hook
Fishing Club on St. Croix (Question 1). Of the 22 Golden Hook Fishing Club respondents, two
also belonged to the VIGFC. Respondents with membership in both clubs were not the same
individuals since all 19 VIGFC respondents lived on St. Thomas and all 22 Golden Hook Fishing
Club respondents lived on St. Croix (Question 2).

Most St. Thomas fishing club member respondents targeted tuna/dolphin/wahoo (78.9 %,
Question 3, see Table 1). All St. Croix fishing club member respondents targeted
tuna/dolphin/wahoo. Most St. Thomas fishing club member respondents participated in catch
and release recreational fishing (73.7%, Question 4, see Table 2). All St. Croix fishing club
member respondents participated in catch and release recreational fishing. Both St. Thomas and
St. Croix fishing club member respondents released about 70% of catch (Question 4, see Table
3).

Respondents rated their fishing resources (Question 5) as poor, fair, good or excellent. Results
are presented in Table 4. For both St. Thomas and St. Croix, most rated their fishing as "fair" or
"good". For St. Thomas, when these rating categories are converted to numerical values (with
poor =1, fair = 2, good = 3, and excellent = 4), the average rating is 2.95 (variance 0.55). This
overall rating is good (good = 3). For St. Croix, when rating categories are converted to
numerical values, the average rating is 2.63 (variance 0.592). This overall rating is also good
(good = 3).

Respondents provided their opinions on the major issues and problems regarding fisheries in the
U.S. Virgin Islands (Question 6, see Table 5). The major areas of concern for St. Thomas
respondents included: BVI relations, enforcement, foreign longliners, overfishing, and pollution.
The top areas for concern for St. Croix respondents included: gillnets, longliners, overfishing,
fish traps, and Buck Island expansion.

Respondents also made various suggestions on how to improve fisheries problems in the U.S.
Virgin Islands (Question 6, see Table 6). Suggestions from St. Thomas respondents were varied
with no single suggestion made more than once. Suggestions from St. Croix respondents that
were made more than once included enforcement, fish trap ban, and gillnet ban.

Question 7 asked respondents to rate marine resource conditions in the U.S. Virgin Islands as
fair, poor, good or excellent (see Table 7). Respondents in St. Thomas rated conditions mostly
as good, while respondents in St. Croix rated them as fair. The overall rating for St. Thomas/St.
John (with poor=l, fair = 2, good = 3, excellent = 4) is 2.94 (variance 0.41), which is good (good
= 3). St. Croix received an overall rating of 2.42 (variance 0.69), which is fair (fair = 2).









Respondents then identified major problems for marine resources that need to be addressed
(Question 8, see Table 8). For St. Thomas respondents, pollution was the only issue that was
mentioned more than once. For St. Croix respondents, enforcement and overfishing were the
only issues that were identified more than once.

Respondents also provided their suggestions to fix marine resource problems in Question 8 (see
Table 9). St. Thomas respondents suggested a variety of solutions, but none was mentioned
more than once. For St. Croix respondents, only fish size limits was suggested more than once.

Question 9 asked about the respondent's awareness or possible involvement in the Fisheries
Advisory Committee (FAC). Results are provided in Table 10. About half of the St. Thomas
respondents were aware of the FAC. About 2/3rds of St. Croix respondents were aware of the
FAC. Only 10 percent of St. Thomas respondents were willing to join the FAC while 2/3rds of
St. Croix respondents were willing to join it.

Question 10 asked respondents for suggestions for a location for a new boat ramp (see Table 11
for St. Thomas and Table 12 for St. Croix). St. Thomas respondents provided a variety of
suggested locations, the most common suggestion was that a boat ramp was needed on the east
end of St. Thomas. St. Croix respondents also provided a variety of suggestions, the most
common suggestions included the south shore and repair of the Fredriksted ramps.

Respondents were asked if they would like to participate in a workshop regarding fishing and
marine resource rules and regulations (Question 11, see Table 13). Between 60 to 70 percent of
respondents indicated that they would participate in such a workshop.

Finally, respondents were asked for additional comments (see Table 14). St. Thomas
respondents listed several suggestions, but none was suggested more than once. The most
common suggestion by St. Croix respondents was for more enforcement.


DISCUSSION

Survey responses from the VIGFC (St. Thomas) were treated separately from responses from the
Golden Hook Club (St. Croix). The reasons for this have to do with the differences in
geographical location, geology, and socio-economics between the two islands (see Gordon and
Uwate 2003). For example, St. Croix has a narrower shelf with shallower water depths than St.
Thomas/St. John. In St. Croix, the shelf area extends less than 3 nautical miles from the
shoreline, and the shelf depth is generally <12 m. The shelf around St. Thomas and St. John
extends much further (8 nautical miles to the south, and 20 nautical miles to the north), and is
primarily between 25 to 45 m deep. Additionally, the islands of St. Thomas and St. John draw
more tourism, provide better job opportunities, and have a lower poverty rate than St. Croix.

Based on results here, it appears that most fishing club members target tuna/dolphin/wahoo (see









Both fisheries and marine resources were rated as fair and good by respondents from both islands
(see Tables 4 and 7). However, St. Thomas respondents tended to rate their resources a bit
higher than St. Croix respondents.

Overfishing, longliners, gillnets, fish traps, and enforcement (lack of) continue to be key fishery
problems in the USVI (see Table 5). However, there does appear to be differences in perceived
problems. St. Croix respondents rated longliners, gillnets, and fish traps as problems (by more
than one respondent). These were not commonly identified problems for St. Thomas
respondents. Many of these identified problems coincide with previous opinion surveys (see
Gordon and Uwate 2003, and Uwate et al 2001).

Identified marine resource problems were similar to those identified for fisheries (compare
Tables 5 and 8). Enforcement, pollution, and reef damage were common USVI identified marine
resource problems.

Suggestions on how to fix problems with fisheries and marine resources showed little difference
(compare Tables 6 and 9). Banning gillnets, fish traps, and increasing enforcement were
common suggestions to fix the fishery resource (Table 6), while instituting fish size limits and
cleaning up pollution were common suggestions for fixing the marine resources. Again, these
suggestions were similar to those suggested in earlier opinion surveys (see Gordon and Uwate
2003 and Uwate et al 2001).

Results of these surveys provide insights into the priority areas, as perceived by fishing club
members. These priorities are real to the respondents, but may be unknown or not yet significant
to policy makers. Opinion surveys such as those completed here should provide policy makers
with new insights and perceptions of problems and solutions for fisheries and marine resource
management. Also, it is evident that St. Thomas is fundamentally different from St. Croix,
therefore the Division of Fish and Wildlife's management strategy (strategic plan) should
recognize this. St. Thomas priority issues may have to be approached differently with respect to
those of St. Croix because of the different priorities expressed by respondents from each district
to this survey.


REFERENCES CITED:

Gordon, S. and K.R. Uwate. 2003. 2002 Opinion survey of U.S. Virgin Island commercial
fishers and the marine recreational industry. Bureau of Fisheries, Division of Fish and
Wildlife, Department of Planning and Natural Resources, U.S. Virgin Islands. 13 pp.

Uwate, K.R., W. Tobias, P. Nieves, H. Rivera, W. Ventura, and L. Critchley. 2001. Survey of
U.S. Virgin Islands commercial fisher opinions and usage of new national monument
areas (Buck Island and south of St. John). Bureau of Fisheries, Division of Fish and
Wildlife, Department of Planning and Natural Resources, U.S. Virgin Islands. 13 pp.











Harry Clinton, Executive Director of the Virgin Islands Game Fishing Club, reviewed the draft
questionnaire and organized the mailing of this questionnaire to VIGFC members. Shenell
Gordon and Donna Jackson fielded the questionnaire at the 11/9/03 Wahoo Windup Fishing
Tournament sponsored by the VIGFC. On St. Croix, Hector Rivera, Willie Ventura, William
Tobias, and Dr. Wes Toller, fielded the questionnaire to members of the Golden Hook Fishing
Club. An earlier version of this report was reviewed by Ron Sjoken and Susan Penn.











Table 1. Fish Targeted by Fishing Club Member Respondents* (Question 3)
STT STX TOTAL
No. of No. of No. of
responses % responses % responses %
Reef fish 3 15.8 1 4.5 4 9.8
Tuna/Dolphin/Wahoo 15 78.9 22 100.0 37 90.2
Billfish 7 36.8 17 77.3 24 58.5
Other 0 0 1 4.5 1 2.4
Total Responses 25 41 66
Total Respondents 19 22 41
*Note: Some respondents provided multiple responses to this survey question.


Table 2. Participation in Catch and Release by Fishing Club
Member Respondents (Question 4)
STT STX TOTAL
No. of No. of No. of
Responses % Responses % Responses %
Yes 14 73.7 22 100 36 87.8
No 5 26.3 0 0 5 12.2
Total 19 22 41



Table 3. Percentage of Fish Released by Fishing Club Member Respondents
(Question 4)
STT Responses STX Responses USVI Responses
average 76.82 70.83 73.10
variance 846.36 1247.79 1068.60
minimum 25.00 10.00 10.00
maximum 100.00 100.00 100.00
No. of responses 11 18 29


Table 4. Rating of Fishing Resources by Fishing Club
Member Respondents* (Question 5
STT STX TOTAL
No. of No. of No. of
Responses % Responses % Responses %
Poor 0 0 2 8.3 2 4.4
Fair 6 28.6 7 29.2 13 28.9
Good 10 47.6 13 54.2 23 51.1
Excellent 5 23.8 2 8.3 7 15.6
Total 21 100 24 100 45 100


*
Note: Some respondents provided multiple responses to this survey quest
ion.











Table 5. List of Major Fisheries Problems Identified by Fishing Club Member
Respondents (Question 6)
STT STX TOTAL
Major Problems No. of % No. of % No. of %
Responses *1 Responses *1 Responses *1
Buck Island expansion 3 17.6 3 11.1
BVI relationship 2 20 2 7.4
Enforcement 2 20 2 11.8 4 14.8
FADs overfished (too many 1 10 1 3.7
commercial/charter boats)
Fish traps 1 10 4 23.5 5 18.5
Fishing area too small 1 10 1 3.7
Foreign longliners (down island, 2 20 2 7.4
not considered in catch reports)
Ghostfishing 1 5.9 1 3.7
Gillnets 5 29.4 5 18.5
Large fishing floats down island 1 5.9 1 3.7
Longliners 5 29.4 5 18.5
Overfishing (fewer fish, poor 2 20 4 23.5 6 22.2
fishing)
Pollution (runoff, dumping) 2 20 2 7.4
Reef fishery 2 11.8 2 7.4
Spearfishers 1 5.9 1 3.7
Undersized fish being taken 1 5.9 1 3.7
West end (nowhere to get 1 5.9 1 3.7
fuel/water for boats)
Total # of responses (*2) 13 30 43
Total # of respondents that 10 17 27
answered question
*Notes:
1. Percentages based on total number of respondents who answered the question.
2. Some respondents provided multiple responses to this survey question.










Table 6. Suggestions by Fishing Club Member Respondents on How to
Fix Fishery Problems (Question 6)
STT STX TOTAL
Suggestions No. of % No. of % No. of %
Responses *1 Responses *1 Responses *1
Areas clearly determined 1 16.7 1 8.3
fishing zones
BVI closer cooperation 1 16.7 1 8.3
Catch and release for small 1 16.7 1 8.3
fish
Education boat safety for 1 16.7 1 8.3
commercial fishers
Enforcement 2 33.3 2 16.7
Fish traps change mesh 1 16.7 1 8.3
size
Fish traps restrict size 1 16.7 1 8.3
Fish traps (ban them, 1 16.7 2 33.3 3 25
stop fishing)
Gill nets (ban them, stop 1 16.7 2 33.3 3 25
fishing)
Regulation 1 16.7 1 8.3
Small fish don't take 1 16.7 1 8.3
Tournaments abolish
when fish aren't used for 1 16.7 1 8.3
food
Total # of responses (*2) 8 9 17
Total # of respondents to 6 6 12
question
*Notes:
1. Percentages based on total number of respondents who answered the question.
2. Some respondents provided multiple responses to this survey question.


Table 7. Rating of Marine Resource Conditions by Fishing Club
Member Res ondents* (Question 7)
STT STX TOTAL
No. of No. of No. of
Responses % Responses % Responses %
Poor 0 0 3 12.5 3 7.1
Fair 4 22.2 10 41.7 14 33.3
Good 11 61.1 9 37.5 20 47.6
Excellent 3 16.7 2 8.3 5 11.9
Total 18 100 24 100 42 100
*Note: Some respondents provided multiple responses to this survey question, while others
provided no response.










Table 8. List of Marine Resource Problems Identified by Fishing Club
Member Respondents (Question 8)
Problems STT STX TOTAL
No. of % No. of % No. of %
Responses *1 Responses *1 Responses *1
Education lack of 1 8.3 1 5.3
Enforcement 3 25.0 3 15.8
Fishing areas- decrease 1 14.3 1 5.3
Hatcheries and restocking need 1 14.3 1 5.3
more
Marine resources not enough
are worked on
Overfishing 1 14.3 2 16.7 3 15.8
Pollution sewage, runoff 2 28.6 1 8.3 3 15.8
Reef damage 1 8.3 1 5.3
Regulation not enough 1 8.3 1 5.3
Regulation too much 1 8.3 1 5.3
Sewage closures by Feds 1 14.3 1 5.3
Small fish only ones brought to 1 8.3 1 5.3
market
Soil erosion 1 8.3 1 5.3
Traps too many 1 8.3 1 5.3
Undersize catch being taken 1 8.3 1 5.3
conch/lobster/fi sh
Total # of responses (*2) 6 14 20
Total # of respondents that 7 12 19
answered question
*Notes:
1. Percentages based on total number of respondents who answered the question.
2. Some respondents provided multiple responses to this survey question.






















ize limits 2 40 2
ium weight for 1 33.3 1
ments
ze limits 1 33.3 1
ion cleanup 1 33.3 1 20 2
ine, mangroves
.hing eliminate for 1 20 1
1 years
keep close to 1 33.3 1
brightly lit
# of responses (*2) 5 6 11
# of respondents to 3 5 8
on

Percentages based on total number of respondents who answered the question.
Some respondents provided multiple responses to this survey question.



ilp 1 f Awarinice rf thip ichplripie Advicanr Cnmmittpp hv Fiichino Chluh Mopm


10 52.6 14 66.7
9 47.4 7 33.3
19 100.0 21 100










Table 11. Suggestions by St. Thomas Fishing Club Member Respondents for new Boat
Ramps and Public Jetties in St. Thomas (Question 10)
STT
No. of % *1
Responses
American Yacht Harbour installation needed 1 12.5
East End, St. Thomas ramp needed 3 37.5
Enighed Pond, St. John installation needed 1 12.5
Hull Bay ramp repairs needed 1 12.5
Independent Boat Yard installation needed 1 12.5
Old sea plane ramp installation needed 1 12.5
Red Hook ramp needed 1 12.5
Water Island installation needed 1 12.5
Total # of responses (*2) 10
Total # of respondents that answered question 8
*Notes:
1. Percentages based on total number of respondents who answered the question.
2. Some respondents provided multiple responses to this survey question.



Table 12. Suggestions by St. Croix Fishing Club Member Respondents for new Boat
Ramps and Public Jetties on St. Croix Question 10)
STX
No. of %*1
Responses
Boy Scout Camp repairs needed 0 0.0
Frederiksted jetty needed 1 11.1
Frederiksted repairs needed 2 22.2
Marina in Frederiksted 1 11.1
Marina on South Shore 1 11.1
Salt Pond installation needed 1 11.1
South Shore installation needed 3 33.3
West End 1 11.1
Yacht Club installation needed 1 11.1
Total # of responses (*2) 11
Total # of respondents that answered question 9
*Notes:
1. Percentages based on total number of respondents who answered the question.
2. Some respondents provided multiple responses to this survey question.









Table 13. Recreational Fishers Willingness to Participate in Workshop about
Fishing & Marine Resource Rules and Regulations, Question 11
STT STX TOTAL
No. of No. of No. of
Responses % Responses % Responses %
Yes 12 70.6 14 63.6 26 66.7
No 5 29.4 8 36.4 13 33.3
Total 17 100 22 100 39 100



Table 14. Additional Comments from Fishing Club Member Respondents (last question)

STT STX TOTAL
Comments No. of % No. of % No. of % *1
Responses *1 Responses *1 Responses
BVI controversy resolve it 1 25 1 10
Closures positive impact 1 16.7 1 10.0
Conservation 1 16.7 1 10.0
Enforcement more needed 4 66.7 4 40.0
FAC no progress 1 16.7 1 10.0
FADs additional installments 1 16.7 1 10.0
FADs only way I see my 1 25 0.0 10.0
money being spent to help me 1
Keep up good work 1 16.7 1 10.0
Prior notice for new regulations 1 16.7 1 10.0
Public draft 1 16.7 1 10.0
Recreational fishers should be 1 25 0.0 10.0
licensed and do CCRs 1
Sea turtles more abundant 1 16.7 1 10.0
than in 80s
Thanks 1 25 0.0 1 10.0
Tournament host one out 1 16.7 1 10.0
west
Total # of responses (*2) 4 13 37
Total # of respondents that 4 6 10
answered question
*Notes:
1. Percentages based on total number of respondents who answered the question
2. Some respondents provided multiple responses to this survey question.











Division of Fish & Wildlife is asking for your opinions regarding fisheries and marine resources
es in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Please take a moment and answer this questionnaire. Your response
confidential. They will be compiled together and will provide DFW with insight into the priorities
problems identified by you, recreational fishing club members. This will assist DFW in designing
ects to address priority issues. Please return this form to Division of Fish & Wildlife, 6291 Estate
areth, St. Thomas, VI 00802-1118, fax: (340) 775-392.

Which fishing club do you belong? VI Game Fishing Club Golden Hook Fishing Club
Neither Club

Where do you live? ST. THOMAS ST. JOHN ST. CROIX
other (please specify):

What do you target when you fish? []reeffish [ ]tuna/dolphin/wahoo [ ]billfish
[ ]other (please specify):

Do you participate in catch and release fishing in the Virgin Islands? YES NO
If YES, what percentage of the fish you catch do you release? %

How would you rate fishing resources in the U.S. Virgin Islands?
POOR FAIR GOOD EXCELLENT

What are the major fisheries problems that you see? How can they be fixed?



How would you rate the marine resource conditions in the U.S. Virgin Islands?
POOR FAIR GOOD EXCELLENT

What are the major marine resource problems that you see? How can they be fixed?



Do you know about the Fisheries Advisory Committee? YES NO
Would you be interested to volunteer to be on the Fisheries Advisory Committee?
YES (please print your name/contact number: ) NO

Do you have any suggestions for new boat ramps and public jetties?


Would you like to participate in a workshop to learn about fishing and marine resource rules




University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs