Economics and Social Science Program

NEW — The Economic Importance of Southern California-based CPFV Trips to Non-US Waters in 2016

Background Report: The Economic Importance of Southern California-based CPFV Trips to Non-US Waters in 2016

2018 Saltwater Recreational Fisheries West Coast Snapshot

An Economic Profile of the Charter Fishing Fleet in California

2016 Sportfishing Vessel Expenditure Survey: For anglers fishing recreationally in Non-U.S. waters from San Diego

The primary goal of SWFSC La Jolla Laboratory's Social Science Program is to provide social science advice to the Pacific Fisheries Management Council (PFMC) on Coastal Pelagic Species (CPS), Highly Migratory Species (HMS), and protected species.  Through conducting and disseminating applied fisheries economics research, Social Science Program members contribute to the conservation and management of marine resources.   Dale Squires  leads the group and conducts research on the international tuna fishery. Stephen Stohs serves on the Highly Migratory Species Management Team . James Hilger serves as a Regional Coordinator to the Recreational Fisheries Engagement Initiative.   Donna Dealy  provides data analysis and computer support. Team members also serve on science advisory boards, such as the Science Advisory Team to the California Marine Life Protection Act and Scientific Committee of International Seafood Sustainability Foundation.

They also collect and analyze data to document the economic status of commercial and recreational fisheries, and analyze economic and community impact evaluations of alternative management measures, including NEPA, RIR, and RFA.  Staff members coordinate with the NMFS Office of Science and Technology, the Southwest and Pacific Island NMFS Regional Offices, Office of International Affairs, and Department of State to support international activities of the U.S. Pacific HMS fleets. 

The social science group also hosts visiting researchers that are focused on fisheries issues pertinent to the group's mission.

In addition, they collaborate with the University of California San Diego through the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, and Department of Economics and other academic institutions by conducting joint research, serving on Ph.D. and M.A. and M.S. committees, teaching, and participating in seminars.

Primary Research Areas:

Ecosystems Analysis and Management:
Integrated environmental, ecological and economic modeling of the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME): Construct an integrated, multi-species, ecosystem-economic model of the CCLME to investigate the multispecies issues related to the role sardine play as forage in the CCLME.  Value of Sardine as Forage: Investigate the economic and ecological issues associated with the Pacific sardine as a commercially harvested species, relative to its importance as prey for species of commercial, recreational and ecological significance.  Climate Change and Forage Fish: Incorporate relevant environmental factors into the ecological-economic modeling framework to enhance its predictive and dynamic capabilities, particularly with regard to different climate change scenarios.  Aquaculture: investigate interrelations between aquaculture and fisheries in the context of a system consisting of a Pacific sardine, a forage fish which is also harvested for human consumption and as an aquafeed, and a predator.

Highly Migratory Species:
Ongoing research includes collaborative work with FRD through the Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program (BREP) to conduct gear experiments into developing cost-effective blue shark conservation strategies in commercial swordfish fisheries.

Protected Species:
Collaborative work with sea turtle scientists in the Marine Mammal and Turtle Division led to the Shallow Set and Leatherback Utilization of Temperate Habitat (SLUTH) initiative.

Recreational Fisheries:
Conduct data collection and economic analysis on the recreational fishing industry and recreational anglers. Current research focused on the Southern California Commercial Passenger Fishing Vessel (CPFV) recreational fishery includes the estimation of demand for commercial recreational fishing trips by anglers, and the economic documentation of  the CPFV fleet. Collaboratively work with Office of Science and Technology on the California component of the 2011 National Recreational Marine Angler Economic Expenditures Study.