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Changes in Job Satisfaction Through Time in Two Major New England Fishing Ports

Abstract

Fishing communities in the U.S. have been the subject of great transformation due to changes in availability of resources and the implementation of different rules and regulations to manage the fisheries and conserve fish stocks. Job satisfaction has been widely regarded as an important component of well-being especially among fishermen because the occupation of fishing includes attributes of ‘adventure,’ ‘challenge,’ and ‘being outdoors’ infrequently found in other employment. It has been previously demonstrated that management driven changes to fishing communities can directly and indirectly affect aspects of fishermen’s job satisfaction and, consequently, their well-being. This paper presents a unique through time comparison of job satisfaction among fishermen between three time periods (1977, 2009/10, and 2013/14) in two major New England fishing ports: New Bedford, Massachusetts, and Point Judith, Rhode Island. Results show important differences between the three time-periods analyzed that can be associated with important changes in fisheries management in the last few decades. Differences found between ports also emphasize important socio-cultural aspects influencing job satisfaction and well-being in fishing communities. This study demonstrates that job satisfaction variables are valuable indicators of change in the context of fisheries and therefore provide valuable information for the development of future management plans that take into account important aspects of fishing community well-being.

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Notes

  1. The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1801–1884) [online URL]: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/msa2007/docs/act_draft.pdf.

  2. The earliest available ranking is for 1981 and Point Judith was 35th in terms of value landed that year with 13.2 million dollars (34.1 million in 2015 dollars) for 41 million pounds of catch landed (NOAA 2015).

  3. A species complex represents a group of species that are managed together through the same Fishery Management Plan (FMP) developed by the appropriate management authority.

  4. See Footnote 1.

  5. Amendment 4 to the scallop fishery management plan limited crew size to a maximum of seven men (NEFMC 1993).

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Correspondence to Tarsila Seara.

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Seara, T., Pollnac, R.B. & Poggie, J.J. Changes in Job Satisfaction Through Time in Two Major New England Fishing Ports. J Happiness Stud 18, 1625–1640 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-016-9790-5

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Keywords

  • Job satisfaction
  • Subjective well-being
  • Fisheries
  • New England