Management Issues and Their Relative Priority within State Fisheries Agencies
Keywords:state fisheries agencies
state fishery management issues
freshwater or marine orientations
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Citation:Mather, Martha E.; Parrish, Donna L.; Stein, Roy A.; Muth, Robert M. "Management Issues and Their Relative Priority within State Fisheries Agencies," Fisheries, v. 20, no. 10, 1995, pp. 14-21.
For researchers and managers to work together for greatest mutual benefit, researchers must understand what issues fisheries managers consider most important. To assess management priorities, we conducted a mail survey asking U.S. state fisheries agencies to identify the priority, based on personnel time, they place on 12 fisheries management issues. Based on an 88% response rate, we determined relative emphases across (1) management issues, (2) geographic regions, and (3) freshwater or marine orientations. Issues directly linked to sport and commercial fishers, i.e., stocking, harvest regulations, fishing pressure, and exploring recruitment, were of paramount importance in all agency time budgets. The issue that included conflict, policy, and human dimensions concerns also was identified as "high priority." Six other issueshabitat restoration, hydropower licensing, instream flow, contaminants, introduced species, and nongame species-were of "moderate priority" nationwide. Approximately 50% of the issues varied in emphases across geographic region, and five issues were differentially emphasized in agencies with freshwater and marine responsibilities. To solve persistent problems that plague fisheries management, agencies must clearly identify high-priority management concerns and communicate their specific problem-solving needs to researchers. Results of this survey should provide a first step in identifying these management priorities and research needs.