Characteristics of red drum and spotted seatrout commercial fishermen in Texas.
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The 67th Texas Legislature directed the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in 1981 to predict the economic impact of pending legislation banning the sale of red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) and spotted seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus) caught from Texas waters. Commercial fishing licenses and individual finfish sales reports were used to determine numbers, ages, and sexes of licensed and reporting commerical finfish fishermen in Texas; license renewal rates; continuity of fishing activity; method of harvest; extent of licensing; reporting and harvesting violations; earnings from the finfish fishery; and economic dependence upon red drum and spotted seatrout landings. Over 1,000 commercial finfish fishermen were licensed or reported finfish sales from fiscal year 1979 to fiscal year 1981. However, less than 300 had a significant economic dependence upon red drum and spotted seatrout landings. The impact of a sales ban was predicted to be greatest in the areas around the Corpus Christi and lower Laguna Madre bay systems, where many of the fishermen lived and where the majority of red drum and spotted seatrout were harvested. Statewide economic impacts were estimated to be small because commerial finfish fishermen represent less that 0.3% of the employed work force, and sales from red drum and spotted seatrout were less than 0.1% the real of disposable income.