Carolyn’s research of the aforementioned New Jersey fishery is part of a larger project seeking to understand the preferences, behavior, and motivations of recreational anglers in New Jersey to better inform fisheries management. Said project focuses on the multi-species New Jersey bottom fish fishery for summer flounder (Paralicthys dentatus), black sea bass (Centropristis striata), tautog (Tautoga onitis), and scup (Stenotomus chrysops). For her part of the project, she is designing a discrete choice experiment using Sawtooth Software’s Choice- Based Conjoint (CBC) software to distribute anglers participating in the fishery.
Through this experiment, she hopes to discover:
- Which bottom fish regulations anglers are most sensitive to;
- Whether this regulation sensitivity varies by species;
- Anglers’ willingness-to-pay for fishing trips under different regulation combinations;
- Which regulation combinations may lead to anglers leaving the fishery.
Using the findings of this experiment and other parts of the project, she and her colleagues hope to develop robust predictions for how changes in regulations will impact angler participations rates and satisfaction. These predictions could then be used to optimize regulations within the bounds of conservation equivalency to improve economic outcomes and angler satisfaction.