Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs

First Advisor

William Gordon

Second Advisor

Neils West

Third Advisor

Conrad Recksiek


Many recreationally popular marine species of fish are at or near historic lows in terms of their overall numbers. Many of these species, such as cod, summer flounder, winter flounder, and bluefish, are also commercially valuable. Fishery managers must be able to make allocation and management decisions that both protect the resource and maintain user satisfaction. The basis for achieving this goal lies in the understanding of what the users expectations, satisfactions and perceptions are related to their marine recreational fishing experience. It is often the case that a population of anglers are managed as a homogeneous group, with similar characteristics and satisfactions. In fact, recreational anglers are quite different, with many sub-groups that each have their own set of attitudes and expectations regarding their marine recreational fishing experience. In addition to the economic benefits of marine recreational fishing, there are equally important psychological and physiological benefits associated with recreational fishing. Early studies found stress relief, experiencing natural surroundings, being with friends, developing skills and relaxation as some of the reasons why they participate in marine recreational fishing. Researchers began to study how various sub-groups of anglers placed different levels of importance on catch (fish size, numbers of fish caught, keeping fish to eat) and non-catch (relaxation, for the sport, enjoying nature) motives for participating in marine recreational fishing. These sub-groups could be charter boat anglers, shore-based anglers, anglers who pursued certain species of fish, or anglers with different levels of specialization.