Fishing to live or living to fish: Job satisfaction and identity of west coast fishermen

Daniel S. Holland, Joshua K. Abbott, Karma E. Norman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Fishing is a dangerous and financially risky way to make a living, but it attracts many participants that prefer it to higher paying and safer jobs. Based on a survey of over 1400 U.S. West Coast fishing vessel owners we use factor analysis and structural equation modeling to quantify distinct latent variables representing job satisfaction related to non-monetary versus monetary aspects of fishing and measures of identity and social capital associated with being a fisher. We show that these latent variables have distinct effects on (stated) fishery participation behavior and that higher non-monetary job satisfaction, social capital, and identity, are associated with a willingness to forgo higher income to be a fisher. Understanding how these factors affect and are affected by participation in fisheries could be important to increase benefits from fisheries and to ensure sustainability of management regimes that rely on indirect controls on effort to limit catch.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)628-639
Number of pages12
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020


  • Factor analysis
  • Fisheries
  • Identity
  • Job satisfaction
  • Social capital
  • Well being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecology


Dive into the research topics of 'Fishing to live or living to fish: Job satisfaction and identity of west coast fishermen'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this