New Report Details Socioeconomic Aspects of Guam Small Boat Fishing

Using results from a 2011 cost-earnings survey of small-boat fishermen on Guam, PIFSC Economist Justin Hospital and JIMAR researcher Courtney Beavers recently published a PIFSC Administrative Report, "Economic and Social Characteristics of Guam's Small Boat Fisheries". This paper profiles the Guam boat-based fleet and details current levels of fishing activity, behavioral aspects of fishing, market participation, average trip costs, fishing-related expenditures, levels of investment, the social and cultural considerations of fishing, and attitudes and perceptions of fishers concerning fishing conditions and management. To provide added insights for fishery managers, the results are stratified by boat ownership, targeting behavior, market participation, and membership in the Guam Fishermen's Cooperative Association.

The primary fishing method of small-boat fishers in Guam is trolling, using artificial lures to catch pelagic species.
The primary fishing method of small-boat fishers in Guam is trolling, using artificial lures to catch pelagic species.

Based on the average catch disposition of Guam landings, it is clear that social and cultural motivations are balanced with economic prospects, as a large percentage of fishermen identify themselves as subsistence fishermen, selling fish occasionally to recover trip expenses. The rising costs of fishing and changing weather and climate were cited as primary reasons fishing in the region has been more difficult in recent years. Despite such challenges, most fishermen believed that more people will be involved in fishing in the near future, due to the cultural importance of fishing and the poor economy. The report provides baseline information that can be used to inform future evaluations of management alternatives and actions.