Business Analysis of the Charter Fishing Industry on the Texas Gulf Coast - DRAFT
This paper is concerned with one segment of the Gulf coast sport fishing industry, namely, the Texas Gulf coast charter fishing industry. Charter fishing is unique because it has elements of commercial fishing - the charter operation is a business - and sport fishing - the consumer is the sport fisherman. The charter industry provides access to fishing areas for individuals who cannot purchase adequate equipment or prefer to let others purchase such equipment. An estimated 15% of all fishermen utilizing the Gulf's resources in 1970 used a charter boat or party boat at least once (U.S. Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife, 1970). These 355,000 users spent $20,838,000 on charter boat or party boat fees alone (U.S. Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife, 1970) or $58.70 per person. This figure does not include expenditures for various items as food, bait, tackle, etc. The objectives of this paper were to identify and describe operators, their business activity and structure and their financial status. A data base, which presents a descriptive understanding of this industry, is crucial to legislators and resource managemers whose decision and regulations potentially effect the viability of this industry. The coastal zone is becoming more crowded resulting in serioud allocation problems and conflicts of use. As fishing-related issues surface, like the Pier 19 controversy in Galveston, data is needed so managers can make a proper analysis of the situation. The Pier 19 issue concerns the decision by the Galveston Wharf Commission to either continue using Pier 18 and 19 for party boat and commercial fishing activities or convert the piers to an open-cargo dock. An important question in the issue is which use provides the most benefits to the community.