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Characterizing Participation in Non-Commercial Fishing and other Shore-based Recreational Activities on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

Cover - Shallow-Water Benthic Habitats of Northeast Puerto Rico and Culebra Island

Non-commercial fishing, which includes recreational and subsistence fishing activity, is part of the culture and heritage of the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI). Residents of USVI fish for enjoyment, to gather food, to bond with others, as well as for gifting and other traditional activities. According to a 2010 report, recreational fishing contributed an estimated 25 million dollars to the economy per year. Though there is evidence that reef fish assemblages in the USVI have changed over time in part due to fishing pressure (both commercial and non-commercial fishing), reporting of catch is currently required only for the commercial fishing sector. Thus, little is known about the non-commercial fishing community and how their fishing activity may impact the stocks of regional fisheries. This report summarizes findings of research conducted on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) from December 1, 2013 through October 31, 2014. The focus of the study was shore-based non-commercial fishing. The project was executed in three data collection components covering two periods:

  • Interview Component: December 2013 - July 2014
  • Count Component 1: December 2013 - July 2014
  • Count Component 2: August 2014 - October 2014

This report is organized into seven sections. Section 1 provides information on the project background and rationale, as well as summarizes the current state of knowledge specific to non-commercial, shore-based fishing on St. Croix. Section 2 relates important contextual information about the study site and period, in terms of the social and economic conditions of the island, as well as its climate and geography. Section 3 provides information about the research methods for each of the project components. Research findings are organized by project component in Sections 4 (Findings: Interview Component), 5 (Findings: Count Component 1), and 6 (Findings: Count Component 2). Finally, project conclusions and recommendations for future research are provided in Section 7. Supporting tables and other project documentation are provided in the appendices.

Citation: Goedeke, T. L., Orthmeyer, A., Edwards, P. E. T., Dillard, M. K., Gorstein, M., and Jeffrey, C. F. G.  2016. Characterizing Participation in Non-Commercial Fishing and other Shore-based Recreational Activities on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 209. Silver Spring, MD. 93 pp.


For more information contact:

Theresa Goedeke

Peter Edwards