Other Fisheries-Related Projects:
Virginia Institute of Marine Science Bluefin Tuna Surveys
Two choice experiment surveys were conducted for the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS). A mail survey for Angling category HMS permit holders and an online web survey for Charter/Headboat category HMS permit holders. This studies goal was to improve the understanding of how bluefin tuna management actions affect fishermen.
2014 and 2015 Seafood Products Economic Survey
QuanTech conducted a mail and phone survey to collect economic data on production, revenue and costs from seafood fishery processors across the U.S. These data was used to update regional fishery economic models. The population targeted by the economic survey were seafood processors, dealers, first receivers, wholesalers, and cold storage facilities.
Alaska Charter Halibut Permit Holder Survey
QuanTech conducted a mail and phone survey to collect Charter Halibut Permit holders’ opinions about the recently implemented Halibut Catch Sharing Plan.
Gulf of Mexico Grouper Tilefish Individual Fishing Quota Survey
QuanTech conducted a mail survey in cooperation with the NOAA Marine Fisheries Service collecting demographic, economic and social information about the participants in the Gulf of Mexico Grouper and Tilefish Individual Fishing Quota program. The mail survey was paired with an online survey to assess community perceptions and attitudes about the performance of the IFQ programs approach to reducing overcapacity and derby fishing. All past or present shareholders, or individuals who purchased allocation, were eligible to complete the survey.
Angler Choice Experiment Survey
QuanTech worked with the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Maryland and the NOAA Fisheries to conduct a survey of recreational anglers in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts aged 16 and older. This was a mail survey of anglers interviewed by the Marine Recreational Information Program's Access Point Angler Intercept Survey who volunteered to participate in this follow-up choice experiment survey. The goal of the study was to collect angler preference data for different characteristics of fishing trips, as well as demographic and fishing activity information.
Florida Resident Coral Reef Survey
QuanTech conducted a socioeconomic survey of the coastal residents of Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, Miami Dade and Martin counties on knowledge of, and attitudes to, coral reefs. This was a telephone survey of a random digit dialing sample of land-lines and cell phones in the 5 counties. This project was a part of the National Coral Reef Monitoring Program's goal of enhancing the conservation of coral reefs. The data collected was used to evaluate and improve current coral reef protection programs.
Socio-Economic Survey of Vessel Crews in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic
QuanTech was subcontracted to collect socio-economic data from commercial fishing crews operating in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions for the Social Science Branch of NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science center in Woods Hole, MA. Interviews with commercial crew members were conducted in-person at ports from NC to ME to provide coverage of all types of commercial fisheries operating in the region. QuanTech programmed the survey questionnaire for use on Android operating system based tablets. Our Staff Biologists collected SEAS data in-person and trained additional field interviewers to collect SEAS data. From October 2012 to August 2013, 271 port visits resulted in 393 interviews. Respondents identified their most important fishery, second most important fishery, and third most important fishery (if applicable), and each was asked over 50 questions (many with subparts) to obtain information on their attitudes and perceptions concerning their primary fishery. Demographic information was also collected as part of the SEAS.
Massachusetts Saltwater Angler Valuation Survey
QuanTech was contracted by NOAA Fisheries to conduct an economic valuation survey in Massachusetts (MA). The goal of the survey was to measure the economic value of recreational fishing in MA marine waters. The contribution of recreational fishing to the State’s economy is often measured by the number of jobs and the amount of sales and incomes that are supported by the expenditures of saltwater recreational fishermen. While this approach provides important information, it does not consider the value that anglers place on being able to go saltwater fishing.
To provide the best estimate of how much saltwater fishing is actually worth to permitted recreational fishermen in Massachusetts, this study was separated into three treatments. For treatment 1, a cash offer of $15-$500 (in the form of a personalized check) was made to 500 anglers in return for their recreational saltwater fishing permit (and hopefully, a completed questionnaire). For treatment 2, 700 potential respondents were sent a questionnaire in which they were asked if they were willing to sell their fishing permit for a hypothetical amount of money, and 700 anglers selected for treatment 3 were sent a questionnaire in which they were asked if they would be willing to pay a hypothetical amount for their fishing license. QuanTech used a proven method for conducting the mail survey. The overall response rate for the survey was 66%.
Lower Passaic River Study Area Creel Angler Survey
QuanTech conducted the Lower Passaic River Study Area (LPRSA) Creel Angler Survey (CAS) from 2011-2012 to collect data on shore-based recreational fishing in the tidal Lower Passaic River. The results of the CAS are being used to derive exposure factors used in regulatory risk assessment, including consumption rate, preparation and cooking methods, species preferences, sharing, and years of fishing in the LPRSA. The CAS was used to collect data needed to characterize the angling population, including size, demographics, and presence of subpopulations. The CAS involved interviewing anglers, conducting incomplete-trip intercepts, enumerating, measuring, and weighing catch, conducting intercepts at locations where safety is a concern, and conducting assignments with two interviewers.
Blue Crab Survey
The primary purpose of the 2002, 2005, and 2011 Blue Crab Surveys was to collect data needed for generating estimates of the recreational catch and effort in the Chesapeake Bay blue crab fishery. The Blue Crab Surveys were also used as a means of collecting length, frequency and gender data on the blue crab. The surveys were conducted for Old Dominion University.
Maryland Department of Natural Resources Striped Bass Survey 2007 & 2008
The primary purpose of the 2007 & 2008 Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD DNR) Striped Bass Survey (SBS) was to collect data on striped bass recreational fishing effort and harvest in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay during the spring 2007 & 2008 striped bass fishery. The survey design of the SBS included two separate, complementary surveys - an intercept survey to collect data to estimate catch per unit of effort, and a telephone survey to collect data to estimate fishing effort. The intercept portion of the 2007 & 2008 SBS was conducted by MD DNR and the telephone portion of the 2007 & 2008 SBS was conducted by QuanTech. Calls for the survey were completed by telephone interviewers who utilized a custom-built Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) system.
The telephone portion of the SBS was designed to collect fishing trip information from randomly selected MD DNR license holders. Data collection was conducted on a weekly basis during seven weeks each year to collect effort information for fishing activities. A week was defined as Saturday through Friday. Dialing for each calling week began on a Monday. All weekly dialing was completed during the week following a specified week of fishing. Respondents were asked to report fishing activity for the prior week that ended on a Friday. This approach resulted in a recall period of 3-13 days for all respondents.
MD DNR provided QuanTech with two licensee lists. QuanTech cleaned the lists to prepare a directory of license holders to sample from for the survey. The cleaned sampling frame consisted of over 50,000 license records, considerably larger than both the FHTS and LPTS survey frames. QuanTech designed a program in SAS to randomly select licensee records from the sampling frame for each calling week. Since the MD DNR licensee lists (and therefore the license and sample frames) did not include telephone numbers for all license holders, QuanTech obtained telephone numbers (contact numbers) for selected license holders through the use of a directory service.
QuanTech met the interviewing goals and contract requirements of the SBS. Each week, approximately 400 completed interviews were obtained. Over the course of each survey (2007 and 2008), QuanTech conducted approximately 3000 interviews with licensees and eligible proxies.
For-Hire Cost and Earnings Survey
QuanTech conducted the FHCES in 2011 to collect data on the costs and earnings of charter boat and head boat vessels for 2010. The primary goal of the FHCES is to provide economists at NMFS’ North East Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) and the North East Fisheries Management Council (NEFMC) with data needed to develop economic impact and benefit-cost models of the for-hire fishing industry in the Northeast region. This voluntary in-person survey collected annual trip and fixed cost expenditures, business structure information, annual effort data, demographic data, and limited attitudinal information from vessel owners.
QuanTech mailed over 1,600 pre-survey notification packages to representatives of vessels that were randomly selected from the FHCES sampling frame. Soon after mailing the first packages and screening the first wave of potential respondents on the phone, it became clear that, although the FHCES was designed as an in-person survey, some respondents preferred to participate by mail, email, or telephone. With permission from NOAA Fisheries, QuanTech modified the data collection procedures to accommodate the respondent’s preferred method for participating in the survey. QuanTech used electronic data capture in the field with a CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing) system. When necessary, data was captured on the phone with the same system operated as a CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing) system. Data from mailed or emailed responses, which usually required telephone follow-up, was entered into the CAPI system by office staff. The system was programmed in MS Access, and included extensive data checks to prevent erroneous entries. Due to the complexity of the survey and potential for errors in collecting and enumerating financial information an electronic device was ideal for data capture at the point of the interview since the CAPI was able to warn surveyors of invalid data entries and make calculations. The primary challenge on this survey was recruiting owners of for-hire vessels and getting them to divulge financial information.
Highly Migratory Species Cost and Earnings Study
QuanTech was contracted by NOAA Fisheries to conduct an economic study of Highly Migratory Species charter/head boat category permitted vessels for the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts (from ME to TX). The HMS CES was conceived as a logbook program, involving weekly submission of data documenting for-hire HMS trips (or the lack thereof) by each selected vessel. One thousand two hundred CH HMS-permitted vessels from Maine to Texas were randomly selected for HMS CES reporting. QuanTech completed the HMS CES in four phases.
In the first phase, QuanTech finalized three data collection forms developed by NMFS. While the first phase was underway, QuanTech simultaneously worked with NMFS on the second phase, to develop a sampling frame and selection protocol. QuanTech began the third phase, a pilot logbook study, immediately upon completion of the first phase. Modifications to the forms were necessary following the pilot, so QuanTech worked with NMFS to finalize them as soon as possible so work on the fourth phase, data collection, could begin in a timely manner. Pre-notice selection letters and log sheet packages were mailed within 1 month of contract award.
Other Housing-Related Projects:
American Healthy Homes Survey (AHHS)
QuanTech conducted the AHHS as a follow-up to the National Survey of Lead and Allergens in Housing (NSLAH) conducted 1997-2000. Sponsored by HUD and EPA, it aimed at monitoring the change in levels of health hazards in homes over time and in refining HUD/EPA’s understanding of certain patterns identified in the NSLAH. The specific objectives of AHHS were to: Estimate the number of homes with lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards and evaluate associated trends since the NSLAH; Estimate the levels of specified allergens in dust in homes and evaluate changes in the levels since the NSLAH; Produce national estimates (in some cases, the first ones) of the levels of additional housing-related health hazards, including the following: Specified allergens and molds in dust in homes (dust mite, cockroach, dog, cat, and mouse allergens; endotoxin; and culturable fungi); Arsenic deposited onto floors, window sills and soils; Pesticides (particularly persistent pesticides) in floor surface residues; and, Relative humidity and temperature. These objectives were addressed by collecting a wide range of data including demographic data and various environmental data, from a nationally representative sample of over 1,100 housing units (dwelling units) across the United States. The survey data was analyzed using sophisticated survey data analysis methods, including weighted parameter and variance estimation using SUDAAN and WesVar, weighted regression analysis and weighted logistic regression.
This project demonstrates capability and experience in the following areas:
The National Center for Healthy Housing Watts to Well Being Survey (WTS)
In 2010, QuanTech conducted the WTS to collect information for the National Center for Healthy Housing under a US Recovery Act grant. We developed a detailed plan of action for conducting the survey, provided consultation on the questionnaire, programmed a CATI system for data collection, and began data collection in a timely manner. We contacted over 500 respondents for the first-year survey and conducted one-year follow-up interviews with over 385 respondents.
Development of Performance Characteristic Sheets (PCS) for X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) Instruments
XRF instruments are used to detect lead in paint by nondestructive methods, and play an important role in the inspection of housing to detect the presence of lead-based paint. QuanTech developed an evaluation system for XRF instruments, which is used by HUD to qualify instruments for use in federally-assisted housing by means of Performance Characteristic Sheets (PCS). The PCS for an XRF instrument specifies the performance parameters, accuracy and precision of the instrument based on a round of testing at a facility constructed by QuanTech and maintained by HUD. Since the XRF testing data does not follow a normal distribution, a nonparametric method of data analysis is used. Specifically, the mean, 5 th and 95th percentile of the XRF measurement as a function of the true lead level in paint are estimated using monotone regression implemented by a “pool adjacent violators” method. QuanTech has tested and analyzed data for approximately 10 different XRF instruments to date.