The commercial trap fishery in the commonwealth of puerto rico: An economic, social, and technological profile

J. Agar, M. Shivlani, D. Solís

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In this paper, we describe the socioeconomic conditions of the small-scale trap fishery in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and examine the determinants affecting the technical performance of the fleet. The socioeconomic data used in the analysis were derived from random, in-person interviews with 50 trap fishers, which accounted for about one-third of the active trap fishers. The study found that the fishery is composed of middle-aged, small-scale commodity producers who use traditional, capital-intensive technologies to target Caribbean spiny lobsters Panulirus argus and various reef fishes. Fishers reported that fishing made up 74% of their household income. We also explored the factors influencing the technical efficiency of the fleet by using a stochastic production frontier model. The analysis suggested that trap operations could increase their gross revenues per trip by 36%, on average, by using current input levels and technology more efficiently. The fleet exhibited decreasing returns to scale. The study also found that a 10% increase in the number of traps tended would raise gross revenues by 0.9% and that baiting traps would raise gross revenues by 1.4%. The analysis suggested that fishing experience and kinship ties were the key determinants of technical efficiency. We also explored the policy implications stemming from these results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)778-788
Number of pages11
JournalNorth American Journal of Fisheries Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 4 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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