The Environmental Impacts and Social Trends of the Recreational Fishing of Sharks on the Texas Coast of the Gulf of Mexico




Weatherwax, Justin

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As shark populations continue to fall in the Gulf of Mexico and around the world, commercial fisheries receive the majority of the blame, but recreational fishing may also be a notable factor. A primary goal of this study is to ascertain the impact of recreational fishing on sharks along the Texas Coast while also gathering social data on the treatment and perception of sharks by the fishermen handling them. In instances where sharks were photographed, there was a trend towards significance (p = .084) suggesting that sharks that are photographed remain landed for a longer period. There also appeared to be a relationship between the observations that children were much more likely (p = .004) to catch small sharks and that the sizes of these sharks were highly significant (p = .001) in relation to their condition. Both a high percentage of smaller sharks (84.4%) and mid-sized sharks (80.3%) were in the poorer condition classes.