Semester of Graduation

Fall 2020

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Oceanography and Coastal Sciences

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Southern Flounder (Paralichthys lethostigma) is a coastal flatfish species that supports recreational and commercial fisheries throughout Louisiana. The recreational and commercial sectors of the Southern Flounder fishery in Louisiana both lack current information that profiles the fishery’s ability to meet stakeholder interest. This project characterized the Louisiana Southern Flounder fishery through an evaluation of fishery-dependent data and a survey of coastal Louisiana anglers.

Fishery-dependent data was gathered to characterize the recreational and commercial Southern Flounder fisheries in Louisiana. This study had three objectives for this evaluation: 1) modeling landings data to evaluate any trends, 2) examine the seasonality of landings, and 3) assess synchrony between regions and sectors of the fishery. A significant decline was apparent for Southern Flounder landings in the recreational fishery, while a less substantial decline was observed in the commercial fishery. Seasonality is shifting in the recreational fishery. Synchrony evaluations revealed moderate to strong positive correlations for intra-sector comparisons.

The decline in the Southern Flounder fishery has prompted a reevaluation of Southern Flounder harvest regulations in Louisiana. To characterize attitudes and values toward specific regulation strategies in this fishery, we developed and executed a survey of coastal recreational anglers in Louisiana. There were two objectives for the survey: 1) determining the total travel cost value that the current Southern Flounder fishery in Louisiana provides, and 2) characterizing how effort alters in coastal Louisiana angling under a range of Southern Flounder regulation scenarios. Survey results indicated that the current Southern Flounder fishery in Louisiana provides a total travel cost value of $126.2 million and that the effort of coastal anglers in Louisiana is not significantly affected by regulations in the Southern Flounder fishery.

Committee Chair

Midway, Stephen

Share

COinS