Economic survey results for United States Virgin Islands commercial fisheries

Chloe S. Fleming, Ashleigh Armentrout, Scott Crosson
This report will appear on the SEFSC website at URL: Cover photos by Scott Crosson: a diver filets up his catch on St Croix (left), and fishermen unloading spiny lobsters on St Thomas (right). Abstract In 2014, an economic survey of commercial fishermen in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) was conducted in tandem with the Marine Outreach and Education -Virgin Islands Style (MOES) fishermen workshops to expand data collection. Fishing is traditionally a profound aspect of
more » ... life and culture in the USVI. This study discusses 1) fishermen background, 2) fixed costs, including vessels, dive gear, and fish and lobster trap ownership, and 3) variable costs, including fuel, bait, air, food and crew costs for St. Thomas and St. John (STT/STJ) fishermen, St. Croix (STX) fishermen, and USVI fishermen as a whole. After merging survey results with landings data records, we estimated respondent and fleet trip profitability. We find that net revenues and estimated annual profits were slightly higher for STX fishers than for STT/STJ fishers. The STT respondent profit rate was 20%. After weighting for non-respondents, the annual profit rate was reduced to 15%. In comparison, the STX respondent profits rate was 33%, but after adjusting for non-respondents, the annual profit rate settled at 17%. We show that USVI fishermen are receptive to filling out economic surveys so long as they are a part of the regular and required Department of Planning and Natural Resources process. iv Table of Contents
doi:10.7289/v5/tm-sefsc-718 fatcat:khmm7vblhbg3nlcfmrwhfbalsa