Community-level fishery measures and individual fishers: Comparing primary and secondary data for the U.S. West Coast

Karma Norman, Daniel Holland, Joshua Abbott, Amanda Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Using a coast-wide survey of West Coast fishing vessel owners, we examine ties between community-level measures and individual resident fishers' responses about their dependence on fishing and their fishery-related social capital and identity. We find higher levels of fishing social capital and identity in communities with high fishing reliance, meaning higher levels of fishing activity per capita, but not in communities with high levels of fishing engagement, which measures fishing without regard to population. We also find that responses to questions aimed at measuring social capital, including familial connections to fishing, were associated with higher fishing reliance in fishers’ communities of residence. Higher social vulnerability measures for the community are correlated with higher measures of fishery-related social capital, as well as higher individual reliance on fishing income. Community median household incomes are also correlated with higher reported incomes for fishers. Lastly, fishers from communities with high fishery reliance and engagement measures tend to generate a lower proportion of their income from non-fishery sources and a greater percent of their income from fishing. We find evidence to support some community-level measures as representative of the socioeconomic realities and ties to fishing among resident fishers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106191
JournalOcean and Coastal Management
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022


  • Community identity
  • Fishing communities
  • Human dimensions
  • Marine ecosystems
  • Social capital
  • Social vulnerability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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