N.C. Commercial Fishing Economic Impacts Survey

(ELIGIBILITY: To be eligible to participate in this survey, you must be a N.C.-licensed commercial fisherman who had trip ticket sales in 2019. If you are eligible, you will receive a paper survey form by mail.)

Greetings North Carolina Commercial Harvester!

The purpose of this survey is to collect information needed to estimate the full economic impacts of the North Carolina commercial fishing industry.

The survey is funded by commercial fishermen themselves, through the North Carolina Commercial Fishing Resource Fund (http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/2019-commercial-fishing-resource-fund-cfrf). The Fund gets its money from N.C. commercial fishing license sales. This study was selected for funding by a committee of N.C. commercial fishermen, N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission staff, and N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries staff. NC Sea Grant, NC State University, UNC Wilmington and Appalachian State University are working with the NC Division of Marine Fisheries to conduct the survey and analyze the data.

Information gathered from this survey will be combined with N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries fishing license, vessel license, and trip ticket information to estimate the economic impacts of N.C. commercial fishing, including impacts on businesses supplying and supporting commercial fishermen, as well as businesses processing, packing, storing, shipping, wholesaling, and retailing N.C. seafood. Additional surveys of fish dealers, fish retailers and restaurants, and consumer households are currently underway as part of this study to collect additional information on the supply chain and distribution chain for N.C. seafood. This information will help the public better understand the full economic impacts of the N.C. commercial seafood industry.

If you don't know an answer, please report your best, unbiased estimate. Please don't over-report or under-report. If everyone under-reports, then the economic value of the commercial fishing industry will be underestimated. On the other hand, if everyone over-reports, then the fishery totals from the survey won't match the fishery totals from the trip ticket data, and the results will not be credible/believable.

Please complete the paper survey mailed to you and return it in the postage-paid envelope.
Or, you may scan your completed paper survey and email it to dumasc@uncw.edu.
Or, you may complete the survey online here: https://tinyurl.com/NCfishing
(IMPORTANT NOTE: If you complete the survey online, you will need your Survey # from the top-right corner of the paper survey form.).

Your participation in this survey is entirely voluntary--you may refuse to participate, refuse to answer any question, or stop your participation at any time without penalty, but please participate so that the survey results reflect all regions of the state, all types of commercial fishermen, all types of fishing gear, and all target species.

Every N.C.-licensed commercial fisherman who had trip ticket sales in 2019 and who completes and returns the survey will receive a $50 Amazon e-gift card as a "thank you" for your time.

All answers are confidential. Your information will be combined with information from other fishermen and will not be individually identifiable when study results are released. You must be 18 years old or older to participate in the survey. If you have questions about this survey, please contact Dr. Chris Dumas, survey project leader (contact info below). Dr. Dumas has conducted fisheries economics studies in North Carolina for 20 years and is a member of the science and statistics advisory panel (SSC) of the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council. This study (# 19-0223) was approved by the UNCW Institutional Review Board. If you have any questions about your rights as a research participant, contact the UNCW IRB at IRB@uncw.edu or 910-962-7774.


Chris Dumas

Professor of Economics
Department of Environmental Sciences
University of North Carolina Wilmington