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Preferences for and perception of cultured marine baitfish by recreational saltwater anglers in Florida

Ohs, Cortney L., DiMaggio, Matthew A., Beany, Audrey H.
Aquaculture economics & management 2018 v.22 no.2 pp. 264-278
Lagodon rhomboides, Orthopristis, aquaculture, attitudes and opinions, baitfish, baits, fishermen, prices, saline water, supply balance, surveys, Florida
There is strong interest in culturing live marine baitfish for anglers. However, there is scant information about saltwater anglers’ perception of cultured baitfish. Thus, a survey was developed and administered to assess recreational saltwater angler’s preferences for baitfish, their attitudes towards cultured baitfish, supply and demand, and specific information about pinfish (Lagodon rhomboides) and pigfish (Orthopristis chrysoptera). An online survey invitation was e-mailed to 227,829 licensed marine recreational anglers in Florida. A total of 14,871 respondents completed some portion of the survey (6.5% response rate). Inshore destinations were the most common fishing trips taken. Live bait was caught by 57.8% of respondents, purchased by 32.1%, and 10.1% did not use live bait. Perceptions of aquaculture as a means of producing bait were 43.8% positive, 20.6% somewhat positive, and 31% unknown. Consistent availability and price were identified by anglers as the two most important characteristics for an aquaculture produced marine baitfish.