Artificial Marine Habitat Characteristics and Participation Behavior by Sport Anglers and Divers
Abstract:A mail survey of 3,600 registered private boat owners in Dade County, Florida, was conducted in 1985 to determine participation and usage rates by sport anglers and divers at the county's seven offshore artificial reef sites. The results showed that 28.4% of the respondents who participated in marine fishing used the artificial reef sites, whereas 13.5% of respondents who participated in sport diving used the sites, Avidity and the types of electronic navigation equipment were the most significant determinants of artificial reef used by both anglers and divers. Anglers chose reef sites because they expected a higher probability of catching fish and because they had previous success at the sites. Divers rated accessibility and previous success as the most important reasons for choosing the reef sites. The distribution of trips across the seven sites showed that fishing use was evenly distributed but divers tended to use the most centrally located site. A multinomial logit analysis on reef site characteristics and reported site usage rates indicated that travel time to a site was negatively related to site selection and both groups tended to choose sites that were older and had greater variability in harvest rates. The average depth of the site was positively related to usage only for the angler group. The analysis suggests that angler and diver site choices are influenced by different characteristics of the reef sites but there are similarities. Travel time to a site and physical characteristics of a site are important determinants of site use for both groups. These results suggest that socioeconomic research can improve our understanding of the role of artificial habitat in marine resource management but further research on objective measures of site attractiveness to different user groups is needed.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: March 1, 1989
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