Research in recent decades has shown that although conventional fisheries management strategies such as fishing seasons, size limits, or gear restrictions can provide sufficient biological protection to fisheries stocks, they do not necessarily lead to satisfactory social or economic outcomes. In their stead, the merits and shortcomings of a variety of alternate management systems, including individual transferable quotas, have been proposed, implemented, and analyzed. Few investigations, however, have examined actual fishers' preferences for different management systems. Integrating results from a mail survey of North Carolina commercial fishers with their individual harvest histories and sociodemographic profiles shows that economic and cultural variables both play a significant role in management system preference. The analysis introduces the use of the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI), a measure of investment diversity, as a measure of diversity in fisheries harvests and demonstrates an association with management preferences. Social and family factors are also notable indicators.
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Vol. 30 • No. 2