Fishing Community Profiles: How do regulations affect social and economic networks within fishing communities?

ShemCreek_SC_SwordfishShrimpSnapperGrouperVesselsCommunity Connections Within a Fishery

How is a fishery defined? In loose terms, a fishery can be described as:

Fish + Habitat the Fish Depend On + Fishermen + Communities/Businesses that Support Fishermen = FISHERY

Often times, when people think about fisheries management much of the focus is on the resource itself, the fish. However, with revisions to the federal law that dictates how federal fisheries are managed (Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act), managers are now required to not only address the biological components of a fishery but also the social and economic components of a fishery. This requirement has led to more research on fishing communities and the impacts of fisheries regulations on these communities.

Case Studies: Little River, SC and Mt. Pleasant, SC

In 2011, research conducted by the Gulf & South Atlantic Fisheries Foundation, Inc. and East Carolina University profiled two fishing communities in South Carolina with rich fishing histories covering commercial, for-hire and recreational fishermen. The goal of the research was to document linkages and networks that tie together the social, cultural, and economic components within each fishing community. The study also looked at how changes in fishing regulations and other factors have impacted these networks in the communities. Researchers hope the study can be used as a baseline to track further changes to these fishing communities as fisheries evolve throughout the South Atlantic region.

Check out the study report by downloading it here.