Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Tables
 List of acronyms
 Executive summary
 USVI demographic and economic...
 User groups
 Description of use patterns
 Economic valuation assessment
 Resource use conflicts
 Stresses and threats: current and...
 Projected demand for marine...
 Summary of stakeholder respons...
 Additional data types needed to...
 Works cited
 Appendix I. terms of reference
 Appendix II. data sets used for...
 Appendix III. survey instrumen...
 Appendix IV. stakeholder infor...
 Appendix V. stakeholder respon...
 Appendix VI. methods for marine...

Title: Socio-economic assessment of marine resource utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/CA01300653/00001
 Material Information
Title: Socio-economic assessment of marine resource utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Hinds, Unlimited
University of the Virgin Islands
University of the Virgin Islands. ( Contributor )
Publication Date: 2003
Subject: Caribbean   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States Virgin Islands
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Bibliographic ID: CA01300653
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front cover
    Title Page
        Title page
    Table of Contents
        Page i
    List of Tables
        Page ii
    List of acronyms
        Page iii
    Executive summary
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
    USVI demographic and economic background
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
    User groups
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
    Description of use patterns
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
    Economic valuation assessment
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
    Resource use conflicts
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
    Stresses and threats: current and emerging
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
    Projected demand for marine resources
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
    Summary of stakeholder responses
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
    Additional data types needed to support MPA development
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
    Works cited
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
    Appendix I. terms of reference
        Page 111
    Appendix II. data sets used for analysis
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
    Appendix III. survey instruments
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
    Appendix IV. stakeholder information
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
    Appendix V. stakeholder responses
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
    Appendix VI. methods for marine resource socio-economic assessment
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
Full Text

Socio-Economic Assessment of
Marine Resource Utilization in the
U.S. Virgin Islands

Prepared by:
Hinds, Unlimited

In collaboration with:
University of the Virgin Islands


Department of Planning and Natural Resources
Division of Coastal Zone Management
Government of the U.S. Virgin Islands
February 7, 2003

Socio-Economic Assessment of
Marine Resource Utilization in the
U.S. Virgin Islands

This document was commissioned by the University of the Virgin Islands from
Hinds, Unlimited, under the Department of Planning and Natural Resources,
Division of Coastal Zone Management's VI Marine Park Project (National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Award NA070513).

For bibliographic purposes this document may be cited as:

Hinds, Unlimited, Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the
U.S. Virgin Islands (2003) (University of the Virgin Islands and the V.I. Department
of Planning and Natural Resources, United States Virgin Islands, February 7, 2003)

Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands


Table of Contents i

List of Tables ii

List of Acronyms iii

Executive Summary iv

Chapter 1 Introduction 1

Chapter 2 Methods 4

Chapter 3 USVI Demographic and Economic Background 11

Chapter 4 User Groups 19

Chapter 5 Description of Use Patterns 23

Chapter 6 Economic Valuation Assessment 33

Chapter 7 Resource Use and User Conflicts 49

Chapter 8 Stresses and Threats: Current and Emerging 65

Chapter 9 Projected Demand 88

Chapter 10 Summary of Stakeholder Response 95

Chapter 11 Additional Data Types Needed to Support MPA Development 100

Chapter 12 Conclusions 103

Works Cited 106

I. Terms of Reference 111
II. Data Sets Used for Analyses 112
III. Survey Instruments 118
IV. Stakeholder Information 125
V. Stakeholder Responses 129
VI. Methods for Marine Resource Socio-economic Assessment 140

Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands


Table 3 1
Table 3 2
Table 3 3
Table 3 4
Table 3 5
Table 4 1
Table 4 2
Table 4 3
Table 4 4
Table 5 1
Table 5 2
Table 6 1
Table 6 2
Table 6 3
Table 6 4
Table 6 5
Table 6 6
Table 7 1
Table 8 1
Table 8 2
Table 11 -1

Figure 6
Figure 6

USVI Economic Indicators 1960 2000
Commercial Fishing Data Year 1999
Recreational Fishing Data Year 1999
Recreational Boating Data 2000
Tourism Data 2001
Identification of User Groups
Stakeholder Interests
Stakeholder Primary Marine Interests
MPA Benefits and Concerns
Registered Fishers 1996 1999
Recreational Fishing
Marine Valuation
USVI Commercial Fisheries Data 1999
USVI Recreational Fisheries Data 1999
USVI Recreational Fisheries Data 1995-1999
USVI Registered Boat Data 2000
USVI Visitor Expenditures 2000
Matrix of User Group Conflicts and Recommendations
Rating of USVI Impaired Water Bodies
Area of Particular Concern (APC) Stresses and Threats
Elements for Rapid Appraisal Methods

Categories of Economic Value
Economic Values for Marine Valuation


Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

List of Acronyms

USVI (or, VI)

Area(s) of Particular Concern
Bureau of Economic Research (VI)
Black Band Disease
Buck Island National Monument
Community-based Organization
Coastal Barrier Reef Systems
Caribbean Fisheries Management Council
Comprehensive Land and Water Use Plan (VI)
Division of Coastal Zone Management (VI)
Division of Environmental Protection (VI)
Division of Fish and Wildlife (VI)
Department of Planning and Natural Resources (VI)
Energy Economics Management Information System (VI)
United States Environmental Protection Agency
Effects Range Level
Geographic Information System
Gross Territorial Product
Hess Oil Virgin Islands-Venezuela, S. A.
Hess Oil Virgin Islands Corporation
Island Resources Foundation
Marine Conservation District
Maximum Contaminant Loads
Management Information System
Mangrove Lagoon and Benner Bay
Modified Mercalli Scale of Earthquake Intensity
Marine Protected Area
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Non-governmental Organization
National Park Service (US)
Nonpoint Source Pollution
Polychlorinated biphenols
U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
Personal Water Craft
Recycling Economics Management Information System
Soufriere Marine Management Area
Significant Natural Areas
Southern States Energy Board
Total Economic Value
Tributylin (a chemical)
United States Geological Services
Territory of the United States Virgin Islands
University of the Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands Environmental Research Station
V.I. Tourism Awareness and Advancement Link
White Band Disease

Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands iv



This Report is a product of the V.I. Marine Park Project. The project is an initiative of the
Government of the U.S. Virgin Islands, being implemented as part of the U.S. National
Action Plan to Conserve Coral Reefs.

The U.S. National Action Plan to Conserve Coral Reefs was developed to guide the
sustainable use of coral reef ecosystems within the jurisdiction of the United States,
including its territories and commonwealths. "Sustainable use" means that coral reef
ecosystems should be used and managed in such a manner as to ensure the security of the
economic, cultural, social, and environmental values and benefits of such ecosystems in

The overall goal of the VI Marine Park Project is to establish the objectives, policies, and
procedures for the management of marine resources within the territorial waters of the U.S.
Virgin Islands through the development of marine protected areas.

The VI Marine Park Project involves the development of four major documents:
A Resource Description Report prepared by Island Resources Foundation;
A Socio-Economic Assessment prepared by Hinds, Unlimited;
A Management Framework for a System of Marine Protected Areas, prepared by
Lloyd Gardner; and,
A Management Plan for the East End Marine Park, St. Croix, prepared by The
Nature Conservancy.

Objective of the Marine Protected Area (MAP) Project Socio-Economic

The primary objective of the socio-economic assessment component of the VI Marine Park
project ("Marine Protected Area" or "MPA" project) was presentation of the findings from
document review and a stakeholder process; to-wit, review of existing studies and data to
further understanding of marine resource utilization in the following areas: Both historic and
current uses and use conflicts; stresses and threats to the marine resource; and the perceived,
actual, and projected social and economic impact of resource utilization within marine
protected areas. A stakeholder process was completed to update information.

A secondary objective was to identify gaps in data sets and/or inadequacies of data gathering
efforts, and to suggest areas for primary research on which to base a comprehensive socio-
economic assessment.

The objectives and scope of service are contained in the Terms ofReference, Appendix I.

Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands v


The socio-economic assessment of the VI Marine Park Project was to rely extensively on
existing documents and data. Identification of relevant studies, reports, data, and data-
gathering efforts was accomplished through literature review and consultation with
government and non-governmental agencies as described in Chapter 2 of this Report.

As there were only three key areas where activity and limited expenditure data were
available for analysis, i.e., fisheries (commercial and recreational), boating (private
recreational and commercial term charter boats/yachts), and tourism activities, a preliminary
economic analysis was completed.

The "stakeholder process", a tri-island process consisting of Community Briefings/Meetings,
Focus Groups, and two-part written Surveys. The process was designed to bring together
project principals and stakeholders to gather and update information. A non-random
sampling method and written surveys were used. There was no provision for primary

The approach to stakeholder involvement was process oriented, i.e., the process of engaging
stakeholders was considered to be as important as was the information gathered, and was
selected because it tends to foster productive dialogue and trust. This approach was chosen
over a product-oriented direction because of the need to replace the mistrust and
confrontation that has characterized the interaction between the government and the public
on marine management issues.

The approach used for this component of the MPA project is more consistent with rapid
socioeconomic assessment than with the standard or comprehensive socioeconomic
assessment described in the Socioeconomic Manual for Coral Reef Management (Bunce, et
al., 2001), The Marine and Coastal Protected Areas Guide for Planners and Managers (Salm
and Clark, 2000), and as described in Collected Essays on the Economics of Coral Reefs
(Cesar, 2002).

A specific goal for MPA management, e.g., development/conservation, policy development,
monitoring, etc., is articulated in the preparatory phase of a socioeconomic assessment and
determines the focus. The timeframe for preparation and planning, implementation, and
analysis ranges from two to five years based upon the availability of reliable data and
decision support tools, the level of marine valuation, and the funding allotted to the
assessment team. The above-referenced manuals provide, in great detail, the socioeconomic
assessment process.

Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands vi

Key Findings

The response from a diverse, though small, sampling of user groups (stakeholders)
reflected consensus on major MPA issues, such as the need for MPAs, the crucial
importance of effective management, and the need to address the impacts of potential
relocation/dislocation of use and user groups;

Land-based activities including, but not limited to, point and nonpoint source
pollution, sewage discharge, poor design and construction practices, etc. are
uniformly identified as the bane of a healthy marine resource in previous studies and
by the present-day stakeholders;

Significant gaps exist in the data sets that are critical to social or economic
assessment of an MPA;

Although numerous marine resource studies have been completed over the last 20
years, most contain descriptive not quantitative information, address specific areas
or activities, and direct uses of the marine resource. (National Park Service sites have
been studied in the most detail);

In all of the reviewed reports where reference was made to user and use conflicts,
those conflicts either continue to exist or are perceived as continuing to exist. The
conflicts include the actual or perceived infringement on the rights of "locals", i.e.,
native-born residents, by the policies of the federal and local governments, and by
private property owners; incompatibility of methods and landings of commercial and
recreational fishers; and a growing dislike for jet skis by all other user groups;

There is concern for the need for research, including a) the impact of a high volume
of divers, snorkelers, and use of protective skin oils on the health of the reefs (as
cited in early studies as well), b) identification and protection of underwater
archaeological sites and resources; c) stresses and threats at each phase of the
lifecycle of marine species.

There will continue to be gaps in marine management if the efforts of the federal and
local governments, and other agencies and organizations involved in all aspects of
marine management, cannot be harmonized within the MPA process.


This Report offers a preliminary review of information that must eventually be treated in
greater depth if MPAs are to be successfully managed in the USVI. Stakeholder response
indicates that users can and will make valuable contributions to MPA management.

The literature review and communication with agency representatives suggest no indication
that the need to gather and organize baseline data has been identified by, or assigned to, any

Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands vii

public or private agency. The absence and/or inadequacy of supportive data did, however,
make it possible to identify areas in which additional research and data are needed.

At this stage the US Virgin Islands has stated a general goal of MPA management, but lacks
critical data, data-gathering processes, and decision support tools to complete a
comprehensive socioeconomic assessment or standard marine resource valuation. Therefore
this socioeconomic assessment component completed constitutes a rapid assessment. It
presents findings that are intended to inform the MPA policy planning process in the future
and, hopefully, stimulate interest in, and commitment of funds for, a needed comprehensive
socioeconomic assessment in the not-too-distant future.

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands 1



The management of marine areas requires more than the implementation of strategies that
sustain or restore the biological resource. Humans in close proximity to the marine resource
impact and are impacted by actions taken to sustain the biological resource. Restrictions on
time, space, place, and activities are critically linked to social, economic, and political
realities, and may be included in marine management strategies as a way to protect marine
resources. Coral reef health is a most important concern in marine management because the
death of a coral reef can lead to a decrease in biodiversity and make recreational areas less

The completion of a comprehensive socio-economic assessment of a marine protected area
project can help planners understand the social dynamics, economic dimensions, and the
conditions of the people, organizations, and politics that will impact and be impacted by the
MPA. From that understanding, planners are then able to develop a management approach
and plan that appropriately address the ecosystem requirements and the social elements. A
rapid socio-economic assessment, such as this report, develops preliminary descriptions and
understanding of the areas in need of further study, and can begin to engage stakeholders
whose involvement and support affects the effective implementation of MPA strategies.

1.1.1 Background

The actual starting point for a new international focus and attention to environmental issues
was the 1972 Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. Due to greater visibility
and publicity, the Rio Conference in 1992 is most often afforded that recognition. Within the
environmental movement in the 1990s, global attention to coral reefs increased and led to
the understanding that coral reefs are like underwater rainforests, are second on the list of
the world's richest ecosystems, and have a central role in supporting biodiversity within
marine environment.

By the closing day of the 1993 Conference "Rio to the Capitols: The States Respond to Rio
'92", scientists and environmental activists had debated "sustainable" versus "regenerative"
approaches to environmental remediation and management of land and marine resources.
Representatives from the Pan American Health Organization, the V.I. Governor's Energy
Office, and others posed questions linking carrying capacity and sustainability to the
regeneration of the terrestrial and marine environments. Where sustainable use may only
require implementation of protective measures, regenerative approaches usually require a
greater commitment of resources and a determination of the carrying capacity. The
consideration of carrying capacity, as determined by social and economic choices and by
environmental constraints, broadens the parameters of marine management strategies.

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands 2

The 1994 International Coral Reef Initiative directed global attention to the rapid decline in
coral reefs and attracted the attention of non-scientists. The increased awareness of the
critical status of coral reefs worldwide led to the designation of 1997 as the "International
Year of the Reef", and to the U.S. 1998 Coral Reef Protection Executive Order (US EPA,

Until recently, marine management strategies for mitigation of ecological and biological
stresses focused on keeping environmental conditions within acceptable ranges for coral reef
health. While scientific testimony and media report that an estimated two thirds of the
world's global reefs are in decline or threatened, the idea of building coral reef survivability
based on patterns of resistance and resilience is new to management strategies for marine
protected areas (MPA) (Salm, 2001). In 2002, the marine management strategies routinely
consider biology, ecology, and socio-economic impacts by and to the human community.

Marine Valuation and Assessment

Valuation is a means of justifying the existence of marine protected areas (Salm, Clark,
2000) and is used in the development of marine management strategies. Marine planners
obtain information on social and economic values, practices, and conditions of nearby
communities and attempt to address sustainable/regenerative issues and carrying capacity
with quantitative and qualitative data.

In their report on the human factors of reef management, Bunce, Gustavson discuss the lack
of research on rapid quantitative and qualitative techniques for assessing the sociology and
economics of reef use. The report presents various methodologies for conducting
socioeconomic assessments as can be adapted from a range of techniques, including
classical social, anthropological and economic approaches. In addition, it notes the challenge
of conducting primary research in this area due to the relative infancy of research and the
lack of evaluation criteria on the socio-economic context of reef management (Bunce,
Gustavson, et al., 1999).

According to the Socio-Economic Manual for Coral Reef Management (Bunce, et al., 2000),
a socioeconomic assessment is a way to learn about the social, cultural, economic, and
political conditions of individuals, groups, communities, and organizations. There is no
fixed list of topics examined in a socioeconomic assessment, but the most commonly-
identified topics include: gender, resource use patterns, stakeholder characteristics and
perceptions, market attributes for extractive and non-extractive uses, market and non-market
use values.

On the social side of a socio-economic assessment, considerations include social acceptance,
public health, recreation, culture, aesthetics, conflicts of interest, safety, accessibility,
research and education, public awareness, conflict and compatibility. The importance of
socioeconomic information was stressed as early as 1969 by the US National Environmental
Protection Act which stated that there is a need to assess, in advance, the social
consequences that are likely to follow from specific governmental or policy actions. (Bunce,
and Gustavson, 1998).

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands 3

On the economic side of a comprehensive socio-economic assessment, there are economic
values that can be measured directly, such as revenues and expenditures related to marine
activities, tourism, etc., and costs associated with nature-based or anthropogenic threats.
There is also an attempt to ascribe monetary value to intangibles such as the pleasure
derived from a scenic view or "the quality of life". The issue of carrying capacity "How
much of which use is too much?" is important, allowing consideration of both scientific
assessment and personal preference in assigning a value to the resource.

As of 2002, there was not a well-developed methodology or approach to socio-economic
assessment as has been noted by Bunce (among others) who suggests that, "Due to the
relative infancy of research considering the socio-economic context of reef management,
socio-economic criteria specific to evaluating activities affecting reef resources are only
beginning to be explored (Bunce, Gustavson, 1998). Because the concept of carrying
capacity has yet to appear in USVI public policy, or in the lexicon of public discourse, the
effort to complete the needed comprehensive assessment may be tasked with furthering the
understanding of the concept and developing criteria for determining the carrying capacity
of marine protected areas.

A socio-economic assessment can be structured to the management goal, and to support
decision-making, e.g., no MPA at all, MPA with/without no-take zone, MPA for protection
purposes only, etc. (See Appendix VI for information on socio-economic assessment in
marine management)

Assessment and Management

The findings from a socio-economic assessment can lead to an understanding of what is and
what is not acceptable, among other things, and should influence management decisions.
Most management goals will include limits on the numbers of users, spatial and temporal
restrictions of usage, education programs, and research and monitoring programs (Bunce,
Gustavson et al., 1999). Limits on use usually lead to conflicts that can be anticipated and
addressed in the management plan.

The scope of this component of the MPA project and the available data were limited;
however, it does appear that a supportive public policy framework is under construction.
The Rapid Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the USVI calls
attention to the elements required to achieve a solid understanding of marine resource
valuations, and to implement public policy that fosters effective and successful management
of marine protected areas.

Note on Underwater Cultural Heritage Resource
A United Nations convention regarding the protection of the underwater cultural heritage resources came to
light late in this MPA project. Several MPAs around the world exist for the protection of cultural as opposed to
natural resources. These MPAs, often designated around historic shipwrecks, present some unique challenges
for managers (MPA News, Vol. 3, No 3 (September 2001). While the underwater cultural heritage resources in
the USVI have not been researched for this Report, the presence of at least two historic shipwrecks in
Christiansted Harbor must be noted (IRF, Christiansted, 1993). Such an as-yet untapped potential
compels an examination of USVI waters to acknowledge or dismiss the importance of this unique
type of cultural marine resource.

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands 4



Project principals conducted a thorough review of materials, including reports and records of
local government departments, census data, related surveys, and academic and consultants'
reports, and made preliminary determinations of usefulness and reliability. Documents we
collected for the project were submitted to the VI Department of Planning and Natural
Resources. (The complete listing of reference documents, including those obtained from the
archives of DPNR archives is contained in Works Cited following Chapter 12).

The task of identifying and obtaining relevant documents and materials was protracted and
only moderately successful. The absence of a government or community-based library, or
even a basic cataloging of relevant documents within Agencies, complicated what would
otherwise be a straightforward task. At project start-up, there was minimal response by
members of the MPA Advisory Committee to a request for information regarding
documents, studies, and data. Also, there appeared to be competing demands for the time of
agency personnel who might have been able to assist in the identification/provision of
documents, and contact with them was usually unproductive.

It is strongly suspected that important documents completed by government agencies or the
University of the Virgin Islands over the years were inaccessible or lost as a result staff
turnover. There were instances in which staff were aware of relevant studies or projects but
could not locate the documents; for example, only the cover page remains of a survey on
public attitudes completed by the Department of Conservation and Cultural Affairs in the
1970s. Similarly, the University of the Virgin Islands' Eastern Caribbean Center Research
Institute Publications website listed a substantial number of unquestionably relevant works
that could not be found notwithstanding the best efforts of staff.

Many of the reviewed documents written between 1960 and 2001 contained extensive
bibliographies, references, and citations of primary research. In some instances, primary
documents were obtained and reviewed; however, it was not possible to locate many of the
primary documents within the project's timeline.

Most of the previous studies focused on user-specific research and did not address or
develop standard indicators for assessing the socio-cultural basis of marine uses. As a
consequence, it was to be expected that examination of the direct and indirect benefits
associated with USVI marine resources would have little data on which to base an analysis.

During the roughly four-month literature search for this USVI MPA project, the economic
data located was limited to commercial and recreational fishing and boating activities, and
aggregated data for commercial and recreational tourism activities. No document was
identified that quantified non-use values, e.g., benefits of preservation of natural scenery,
cultural resources, recreation, or user-defined "quality of life" criteria.

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands


The stakeholder process was generally conducted along the lines of non-random sampling, i.e.,
there was outreach to selected individuals and groups whose viewpoints, roles, ownership, etc.,
would contribute to an understanding of issues and conditions. Information generated by this
non-random method is not statistically representative because it is not representative of all users.
Non-random methods are typically used when resources time, money, and people are not
available to support a full, statistically representative sample. (See Appendix VI)

The "stakeholder process", a tri-island process consisting of community briefing meetings, focus
groups, and surveys, was designed to bring together project principals and stakeholders to
facilitate information exchange on a three levels: Community briefings, Focus Groups, and two-
part Surveys.

The stakeholder process was implemented to engage residents in the MPA planning process in a
manner that would be accepted and understood as meaningful and relevant to the long-term MPA
process. The process was completed between November and December 2001.

Participation in the stakeholder process was open to any individual who received a letter of
invitation and/or who responded to notices in the media. The survey instrument distributed at
the meetings was designed to capture basic demographic and descriptive information from
those in attendance.

In the community briefings, the MPA rationale, process, and status were explained, and
participants were invited to discuss the perceived pluses and minuses of MPAs and to express
their concerns. The method of organizing focus groups combined elements of strategic planning
and creative problem-solving in a timed agenda format that was structured to obtain more
detailed input than could be elicited in the setting of the larger community briefing.

Participants in community briefings and focus groups were invited to complete a survey (see
Chapter 3.2.2, and Appendix III) that contained general questions for all respondents as well as
items that were specific to their individual user group. The social, racial, and ethnic diversity in
the USVI invites cultural competency in the MPA public processes and reader-friendliness of
materials. There was some preparation for facilitating participants who had limited literacy skills
and/or those who were bi-lingual; however, more more resources could be directed in this area in
the future.

The literature addresses the consequence of inadequate attention to the social and cultural
dynamics. The 1985 Cernea study concluded that failure to consider the social and cultural
context of a project invited inappropriate design, at best, and user hostility, at worst. "It usually
leads to projects that are ultimately ineffective, wanted neither by their supposed beneficiaries
nor by the investing public agencies." (Cernea, 1985).

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

2.2.1 The Stakeholders

Every resident of the USVI was viewed as a primary stakeholder in the MPA process. Visitors
were considered as secondary or "indirect stakeholders". The input of these stakeholders was
valued as a way of gaining an understanding beyond the available data sets of standard
indicators of what was important to them relating to the marine resource.

Letters of invitation to the community briefings and focus groups were sent to approximately 200
individuals representing a broad range of user groups. The invitees included the University of
the Virgin Islands, US National Park Service, VI Division of Environmental Protection, other
federal and local government agencies, local environmental groups, and other Non-governmental
Organizations (NGOs).

For purposes of MPA stakeholder analysis, the stakeholder groups were identified as commercial
and recreational boaters, divers and dive tour/shop owners, commercial and recreational fishers,
hotel, tourism, and real estate interests, and supportive businesses. Representatives from
government agencies assigned themselves to groups based on personal interest or professional
responsibilities. Participants were allowed to assign themselves to their primary user group
category and other categories of interest as well. Some participants assigned themselves to the
hotel/tourism category based on interest as opposed to ownership.

The individuals, agencies, and organizations participating as stakeholders in the community
briefings, focus groups, and/or questionnaires are contained in Appendix IV.

2.2.2 Community briefings

The public was invited to attend community briefings to "learn about the marine protected areas
planning process, propose solutions to their concerns, and to offer ideas for increasing the chance
of success for the USVI MPAs." The meetings were held on St. Croix on November 12th, 2001,
at the Department of Education Curriculum Center; November 15th, 2001, on St. John, at the
Legislature Conference Room; and November 26th, 2001, on St. Thomas, at the University of the
Virgin Islands Sports and Fitness Center. All meetings began at 6:30 p.m. and employed a
meeting format developed by Hinds, Unltd., that has been effective in community outreach
projects for the University of the Virgin Islands, the VI Housing Authority, the VI Health
Professions Institute, among others.

All components of the MPA project were presented at the meetings, which opened with a video
on the Soufriere Marine Management Area (SMMA) on St. Lucia1. The large number of fishers
in attendance responded favorably to the segment of the video in which their counterparts on St.
Lucia described their initial resistance to but subsequent support for a marine managed area. The
video appears to have been an effective tool for initiating constructive dialogue between
government and user groups.

1 The case represented by the Soufriere Marine Managed Area in St. Lucia was chosen as a good example of
process and outcome for MPA planning. The stakeholder process was well defined and maintained over time, the
fishers' strong resistance was overcome by the process and the outcome, i.e., better fishing, and the Caribbean
location was one with which USVI stakeholders easily identified.

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

At the St. Croix community briefing, 36 individuals signed the register. In attendance were
representatives of environmental groups the St. Croix Environmental Association, The Ocean
Conservancy, Ecotech Inc., and The Nature Conservancy. Representatives of federal and local
government agencies attended, including the VI Division of Coastal Zone Management, and the
National Park Service. Others participating were the UVI Cooperative Extension Service, the
UVI Marine Advisory Services, Office of the VI Delegate to Congress, divers, educators,
businesspersons, and the news media. By far the largest group consisted of commercial fishers.

On St. John, 15 people attended the meeting, including representatives of the National Park
Service, VI Division of Environmental Protection, University of the Virgin Islands Conservation
Data Center, Friends of the Park, Island Resources Foundation, the St. John Administrator,
businesses, and divers. As on St. Croix, the largest group represented was commercial fishers.

On St. Thomas, there were 16 participants from the University of the Virgin Islands Center for
Marine and Environmental Studies, and UVI's Division of Math and Science, the St. Thomas
Fisheries Advisory Council, VI Division of Environmental Protection, businesses, divers, and
two commercial fishers.

The data and recommendations gathered at the community briefings appear throughout this
Report and the participant list appears in Appendix IV.

2.2.3 Focus Groups

Five Focus Group meetings 2 were conducted in 2001:

Island Date Number in Attendance Meeting Place
St. Croix November 29th 7 All were held at the
December 3rd morning session 5 UVI Cooperative
afternoon session 3 Extension Service

St. John November 16th 5 Guy Benjamin School
St. Thomas November 27th 7 UVI Small Business

Despite the small numbers, the process reaped useful information, identified unique conflicts and
concerns, and gathered strong recommendations.

2 Originally, eleven focus groups were anticipated: four on St. Croix, four on St. Thomas, three on St. John. Delays
in the release of funds caused more than one rescheduling, and scheduling the final meeting was beset by conflicts
with November-December holidays and the Caribbean Fisheries Management regional hearings. Notably, however,
although of lesser scope, the five focus groups completed for the USVI equate to the five focus groups per country
completed for a World Bank-sponsored comparative survey of socio-economic and management issues of thirty-one
coastal communities. (Cesar, 2000)

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

All comments made in the focus groups were recorded on flipcharts, transcribed, and organized
for interpretation and analysis. The questions that guided the process are included in Section 10.1
of this Report; stakeholder input and recommendations gathered in the focus groups appear in
Sections 7 and 10 and in Appendix IV., A complete listing of focus group participants appears in
Appendix IV.

2. 2. 4 Survey

The survey instruments were structured to capture descriptive information on uses and values.
Distribution of the user-specific surveys and the supplemental surveys was limited to participants
in the community briefings and the focus groups. The 100 surveys completed and analyzed are
comparable to the number of surveys used for pre-test of survey design for similar socio-
economic assessments in Jamaica and Curacao. (Cesar, 2001). MPA project design and budget
did not support development of more detailed instruments or for random-sampling methods.
Samples of the survey instruments appear in Appendix III.

The survey instrument was two-tiered. User group questions and demographic information were
captured on a brief primary survey distributed in the community briefings. A supplemental
survey was placed in user group folders and participants were asked to answer questions on
values, extent of user involvement, and some of the economics of use. The fact that participants
responded to virtually all the questions on the primary survey is encouraging, and indicates that
future assessments of this type, i.e., written surveys, could be used effectively.

There was discreet, on-the-spot assistance for those with limited literacy; however, Thomas
Daly, a St. Croix fisher, suggested that the survey be read aloud to ensure that everyone
understood what was being asked. Literacy became a non-issue as this approach opened
opportunities for questions, explanations, and expressions of concerns. Only the fishers' survey
was conducted in this manner and the productive exchange appeared to edify staff from
government agencies and other groups who had previously heard only the "frustration" of the

In all, 100 stakeholder surveys were conducted. Summary and analysis developed from the
surveys are incorporated throughout this Report.

2.3 Interagency Consultation

Interagency consultation was attempted more often than it was achieved. More than fifteen (15)
agencies and organizations, and departments and divisions of local and federal government, and
representatives from University of the Virgin Islands were invited to contribute to the socio-
economic assessment a) by identification or provision of materials, reports, data; b) by
participation in the stakeholder meetings; and 3) through personal communication.

A request for information (reports, data sets, groups with relevant expertise, contact persons,
etc.) was distributed at project start-up to the members of the Marine Park Advisory Committee
and others attending project-related workshops. Of the 25 forms distributed at the September 21,
2001, Orientation Workshop conducted by The Nature Conservancy for the MPA project, and in

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

subsequent meetings, only three (3) forms were returned. They contained little helpful

The Divisions of Fish and Wildlife, Environmental Protection and Coastal Zone Management,
the U.S. Geological Services, the National Park Service, and staff of the University of the Virgin
Islands provided documents and participated in the stakeholder process (the participant listing is
in Appendix IV). Late in the process, meetings with the VI Division of Environmental Protection
resulted in the release of a number of relevant documents, e.g., the 303(d) and 305(B) Reports
for 1996 and 1998, and the Year 2000 Water Quality Assessment Report.

2.4 Data Analysis

Data required for socioeconomic assessment and valuation include, but are not limited to, reef
use patterns, non-market and non-use values, market attributes for extractive and non-extractive
uses, stakeholder characteristics and perceptions and (see Appendix VI)

Analysis of data for purposes of policy and decision-making can be facilitated by use of
decision-support models. There is no single model that answers specific and relevant marine
management policy questions. 3

Review of primary and secondary documents and data from the National Park Service "Visitors
Services Report", VI Bureau of Labor Statistics, and VI Department of Planning and Natural
Resources was extensive but not exhaustive. Data is reported here as presented in source

Personnel in the Department of Planning and Natural Resources provided the report cover for a
Department of Conservation and Cultural Affairs (precursor of the Department of Planning and
Natural Resources) report that measured public attitudes on the marine environment in the early
1970s; however, the body of the report could not be located. There is no indication that public
attitudes on marine management have been measured.

The 1979 "Economic Impact and Analysis" for the VI National Park (Posner, Cutherbertson, et
al., 1981), and "The Rapid Socio-Economic Evaluation of the Proposed Marine Conservation
District on St. John" (Downs, Petterson 1997) were an important sources of data for the VI
National Park on St. John. Comparable research and data were not obtained for St. Croix or St.

Other assessments of social and/or economic aspects of the USVI marine resource have ranged
from those that meet accepted standards of social scientific research, e.g., Olsen and Towle
(1979), or Downs and Petterson (1997), to those that were less sophisticated yet yielded useful
information, e.g., Cader (1980).

3 Information on decision support models for marine management can be found in Cesar (2000) and in Rietbergen-
McCracken and Abza (2000).

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Following a preliminary identification of data needs for this assessment, a thorough review of
reports and interagency communication was completed to determine whether data existed, and if
so, where it could be obtained. The availability of existing data was taken into account in the
design of the survey instruments and the formats for the community briefing and focus groups.

The Bureau of Economic Research data on tourism and the Department of Planning and Natural
Resources data on boating and fishing were the most complete and useful data sets. There were
significant gaps in revenue and expenditure data for diving, specific water sports, and marine
supportive businesses. Data on prices, revenues, and willingness to pay for marine resource use
was also not available. The Bureau of Economic Research and the Bureau of Internal Revenue
will need to disaggregate the expenditure data for use in marine valuation and, with the
Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs, they will need to begin to collect new types of
data in categories more fully suggested in the SocioEconomic Manual for Coral Reef
Management (Bunce, 2000).

In rendering this Report, descriptive data from stakeholder input was analyzed in two ways:

1. A spreadsheet model was used to report summary results of the surveys;

2. Information from the community briefings and focus groups was organized and interpreted to
arrive at qualitative data.


The values associated with marine resources have been measured in many different ways -
depending upon the expected use, analysis to be undertaken, and the extent to which data is
available. "Valuation" is described the means of justifying the existence of marine protected
areas (Salm, and Clark, 2000). For this study, an all-inclusive approach was used. All marine-
related goods and services, support systems, and functional diversity were identified, followed
by attempts to gather the necessary information to quantify the total economic value. This "total
economic value" (TEV) approach helps ensure the full benefits of the marine system are
accounted for. The Reitbergen-McCracken and Abaza (2000) work provides description,
explanation, and applications of a full range of environmental valuation techniques. A detailed
explanation of TEV methodology, use of USVI data in TEV, and quantification of uses for the
USVI precedes the findings in Chapter 6.

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

3.0 USVI Demographic and Economic Background

3.1 Overview

The U.S. Virgin Islands are a series of inhabited and uninhabited islands and cays covering 133
square miles in the Lesser Antilles between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The
largest inhabited island is St. Croix (83 square miles), followed by St. Thomas (32 square miles)
which is home of the Territory's capital city, Charlotte Amalie, and St. John (20 square miles).

Geological studies suggest that the Virgin Islands were once underwater and that the land was
pushed up from the bottom of the ocean by volcanic action. The land areas are carved out by
bays and inlets and surrounded by coral reefs (World Resources Institute, 1998).

Approximately 75% of USVI residents are Caribbean-born (from the U.S. Virgin Islands or other
islands, and of African heritage; approximately 13% from the U.S. Mainland, are Black
Americans and Americans of European descent; approximately 8% are from Europe or Latin
America; approximately 5% identify themselves as Puerto Rican, whether born in the Virgin
Islands or in Puerto Rico. Native-born U.S. Virgin Islanders have comprised less than 45% of
the population since the 1980s.

As a Territory of the United States of America, the U.S. Virgin Islands has emerged from a
history of agriculture and trade to the present-day economy based on tourism. The 108,000
residents (Bureau of Economic Research, 2001) are joined by between one to two million
visitors annually (The Nature Conservancy, 2000). The tourist sector accounts for more than
70% of the gross domestic product (World Resources Institute, 1998).

The largest private sector employer and generator of economic activity is the Hess Oil
Venezuela-Virgin Islands Corporation, S.A., successor of Hess Oil Virgin Islands Corporation
(HOVIC). HOVENSA is the largest petroleum refinery in the Western Hemisphere. In addition
to petroleum products, other items manufactured in the Territory include rum, watches, textiles,
and pharmaceuticals. (VI Energy Office, 1994).

The fledgling financial services industry was dealt a blow with the end of the U.S. Foreign Sales
Corporation program in the 1990s, and it is anticipated that the Economic development Authority
will succeed in attracting financial services and high technology businesses to stimulate the
economy. A review of Bureau of Economic Research information for 2001 shows that USVI has
lost most of the watch factories and pharmaceutical companies that contributed to the economy
until the 1980s. St. Croix Alumina ( formerly Martin Marietta) ceased operations as an aluminum
processing plant, 1999.

Tourism is the primary economic driver. In 1995, the Territory hosted more than 562,000
overnight visitors, and 1,171,000 cruise-ship passenger arrivals. Tourism accounts for more than
70% of the gross domestic product (World Resources Institute, 1998). Approximately 32% of all
paid employees are engaged in retail sales or in service provided by recreation, hotels,
guesthouses, and restaurants (Encarta, 2000).

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

In 1977, the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Commerce reported that the population had more
than doubled in the decade between 1960 and 1970, growing from 32,000 to 75,171.

According to the latest figures available, as of June 2001, the USVI civilian work force was
48,240, including a nonagricultural labor force of 42,930, with an unemployment rate of 6.9%
(V.I. Department of Labor, 2001).

In the last 20 years there has been a significant rise in the number of inhabitants due to the influx
of immigrant labor for the tourism industry, and the "discovery" of the Virgin Islands' affable
climate, especially by "Continentals", or people from the U.S. Mainland. The USVI's population
density of 244 persons per square mile in 1960 increased more than 100% to 557 persons per
square mile by 1970. By 1991, the density reached 741 persons per square mile (VI Energy
Office, 1994).

Participants in the stakeholder process noted that social and economic conditions are negatively
impacted by the absence of: a growth management policy, an approved comprehensive land and
water use plan, a rational zoning process, and standard planning tools such as those used for
more than 30 years throughout the U.S. One important tool that could be of benefit is a public
policy and provision for development extraction fees to be used to create financial resources to
mitigate the negative impacts of greater intensities and densities of terrestrial and marine

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

3.2 Population and Annual Economic Indicators

Over the last thirty years there have been significant changes in the socio-economic indicators
and census data for the USVI. During the 1960s the success of efforts to expand the economy
brought aluminum processing, oil refining, and numerous employment opportunities that spurred
population growth. Post-1970 data is more reliable and less sketchy than pre-1970 data; the
quality was improved by work of the Office of Policy Planning and Research, Tri-Island
Economic Development Corporation, Inc., and others.

Table 3 1 USVI Economic Indicators 1960 2000 ( all values in year 2000 dollars)
INDICATOR 1960* 1970 1980 1990 2000
Population 33,000 75,151 96,569 101,809 108,612
St. Croix 35,945 49,725 50,139 53,234
St. John 1,921 2,472 3,504 4,197
St. Thomas/Water Island 37,285 44,372 48,166 51,181
High school graduates 214('61) 558 1,081 1,314 1,289('98)**
Civilian labor force 35,580 43,130 48,260 47,280
Civilian employment 35,120 40,530 46,930 44,050
Unemployment rate (percent) 1.3 6.0 2.8 6.9
University of the V.I. graduates 56 132 239 313
Non-agricultural employment 30,450 37,320 43,140 42,050
Private Sector 21.090 23,880 29,560 29,020
Construction and mining 5,130 3,480 3,750 1,950
Manufacturing 3,190 3,190 2,450 2,480
Transportation/public utilities 1,970 2,060 2,330 2,450
Wholesale and retail trade 5,530 7,460 9,660 8,950
Finance, insurance, real estate 1,580 1,580 2,140 1,950
Services 4,220 6,110 9,230 11,240
Federal Government 360 660 880 860
Territorial Government 9,000 12,790 12,700 12,170
GTP (in millions of dollars) 1,363 1,962.1 2038.7
Per capital income ($) 5,299 11,674 15,814 16,569
Annual average gross pay ($) 21,146 26,045 27,500
Tax Collections (in millions) _484
Source: Bureau of Economic Research Annual Tourism Indicators and Annual Economic Indicators 2001,
Annual Report Dept. of Education 1967-68, Boyer 1983. Earlier figures not found; **later figures
unavailable. The inflators (used to inflate BER current dollar years to year 2000 constant dollar values)
are derived from U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis website GDP data.

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

3.3 Summary of Fishing-specific Economic Data

Data on fishing activity is among the strongest of the data types made available for this
assessment. Record-keeping and reporting for commercial fishing has improved markedly in
recent years. Further efforts to develop a comprehensive database on fishing activity would
support marine valuation research. From data that are available, it appears that much more is
known about commercial activity than is known about recreational activity. Existing baseline
data does not include complete information on the quantity, quality, and impacts of various
activities in a format that can be used for valuation and assessment, to develop effective
solutions, or respond to the perception of negative impacts.

At each stakeholder meeting, participants stated that so-called "recreational catches" (not for
commercial purposes) are often sold to hotels and restaurants, or to consumers at roadside stands.
The extent of this alleged conversion of recreational catch to commercial product is not
documented, and suggests that there may not be a clear separation of commercial and
recreational activity. Fishers challenged the preliminary commercial and recreational fishing
data as being "too low". This may reflect a discrepancy between their first-hand knowledge of
activity levels and the accuracy in record-keeping and reporting. A better understanding of this
activity will enable an accurate assessment and response to impacts from fishing.

3.3.1 Commercial Fishing Economic Data
According to the "Three-Year Summary Report, April 1997- March 2000" prepared by the VI
Division of Fish and Wildlife, there were 349 commercial fishers, of whom 336 fulfilled the
reporting requirements. Fishers reported landings of just over 1.9 million pounds of fish with a
direct monetary value of $4.8 million. The average price per pound was higher on St. Croix at
$4.10 than the $3.93 per pound on St. Thomas/St.John, for a total economic value of $8 million.

Table 3 2 Commercial Fishing Data Year 1999
St. Croix St. Thomas/St. John Total
Registered Commercial Fishers 206 143 349
Reporting Commercial Fishers 200 136 336
Total Trips (Reported) 7,670 5,099 12,769
Reported Landing
Pounds 607,665 583,788 1,191,453
Direct Monetary Value $2,488,843 $2,294,526 $4,783,369
Average Price per Pound $4.10 $3.93 $4.01
Output Multiplier 1.67
Total Economic Value $7,972,282
Average Landing per Fisher
Pounds 13,038 14,293 3,546
Monetary Value $12,444 $16,872 $14,236
Notes: All data from "Three Year Summary Report, 1 April 1997 31 March 2000," Cooperative
Fishery Statistics Program, Bureau of Fisheries, Department of Planning and Natural Resources
Division of Fish and Wildlife, August 2000. The estimated monetary value is in year 2000 dollars,
and is based on analysis that assumes the catch is marketed at average commercial price.

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

3.3.2 Recreational Fishing Activity

Recreational fishing data is more difficult to capture. Data reported in this section is based on
information obtained during Division of Fish and Wildlife "Angler Telephone Household
Survey" and in a recent recreational fisheries report on the activity and harvest patterns in the
USVI recreational fisheries between 1995-2000 (Mateo, et al., 2001).

Recreational fishing for data year 1999 shows that approximately 11,000 residents participated in
recreational fishing, with total landings of 172,637 pounds, with landings on St. Croix (11)
slightly lower than that of St. Thomas/St. John (18).

Table 3 3 Recreational Fishing Data Year 1999

St. Croix St. Thomas/St. John Total
Residents' Recreational
Fishing 3,294 7,705 10,999
Total Catch (pounds) 35,225 137,412 172,637
Notes: Fishing data from Mateo, I., Annual Performance Report: USVI Angler Telephone Household
Survey, Department of Planning and Natural Resources, Division of Fish and Wildlife (1999).

In Mateo, et al. (2000) it is reported that between 1995-1999, the total catch (pounds) from
shoreline fishing was twice as large on St. Croix at 65,000 pounds, than for St. Thomas/St. John,
at 31,000 pounds. For offshore fishing there was an almost seven-fold difference during the same
years: St. Croix, 42,000 pounds; St. Thomas/St. John, 270,000 pounds. In that same period, St.
Croix hosted ten tournaments compared to thirty-six for St. Thomas/St. John. ( see Appendix II
for additional recreational fishing data 1995-1999).

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

3.4 Summary of Marine-Related Economic Data

The VI Bureau of Economic Research and other government agencies collect some of the data
that would be useful in determining the economic impact of boating, watersports, and other
marine activities. In most instances, however, activities are aggregated in a way that is not useful
to the MPA analysis, e.g., the Bureau of Economic Research expenditure category titled
"recreation" includes all forms of recreation/entertainment. At this time it is not possible to
delineate detailed expenditures attributable specifically to fishing, boating, diving, and other
water sports. Therefore, summary descriptions have been prepared.

3.4.1. Boating

Table 3 4 Boating Data
All Registered Boats 2000 2,462
Average days per month used 7
Months per year used 12
Term Charter Boats 150
Day Charter and Day Sail Boats 150
Commercial Fishing Boats 349
Total Registered Boats 2000 non-commercial 1,813

Expenditure Data Year 2000
Boats Analyzed 1,813
Daily Expenditures Total Expenditures
Fuel $41.24 $3,704,612
Refreshments $30.04 $3,295,381
Fishing Gear $28.41 $2,421,878
Travel to Boat $17.79 $1,897,776
Ice $11.93 $981,196
Bait $5.23 $533,675
Total $134.64 $12,834,517
Monthly Expenditures Total Expenditures
Slip Rent (29%) 69.47 $11,592
Dingy Fee (15%) 29.69 $1,786
Total Direct Expenditures $12,847,895
Output Multiplier 01.67
Total Economic Value $21,413,159
Notes: Data derived from a number of sources including the Virgin Islands Charter Yacht League, the
Department of Planning and Natural Resources Division of Fish and Wildlife, and existing studies on
recreational boating and fishing. (See Appendix II for more details on source and methodology.)

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

3.4.2 Other Tourism-related Data

The Bureau of Economic Research maintains reliable information on tourism-related
expenditures (e.g., lodging, food, transportation, etc.) For the expenditure category "recreation" ,
all forms of recreation or entertainment are combined. The following analysis offers detailed
expenditure data attributable to specific fishing, boating, diving, or water sports activities.

Table 3 5 Tourism Data (in year 2000 dollars)
Category Value

Total Employment 44,050
Total Private Sector Employment 29,020
Total Visitors (thousands) 2,478
Total Cruise Ships (thousands) 1,014
Total Cruise Ship Passengers (thousands) 1,768
Total Rooms and Units 4,997
Occupancy Rate 59%
Total Hotel/Lodging Guests 652,953
Percent USVI residents 7%
Percent Non-Residents 93%
Total Gross Territorial Product (millions of dollars) $2,038.7
Visitor Expenditures
Expenditures Percent of Tourism Related Percent of Private
Sector (Millions of dollars) GTP Employment Sector Employment
Hotels/Lodging $240 12% 3,980 14%
Food & Beverages $158 8% 2,100 7%
Retail (gift shops, etc.) $495 24% 2,010 7%
Transportation $89 4% 570 2%
Recreation $101 5% N/A N/A
Other $74 4% N/A N/A
Total $1,157 57% 8,660 30%
Notes: All data is derived from Bureau of Economic Research, Annual Tourism Indicators and
Annual Economic Indicators, USVI Government Development Bank (2001), and Personal
Communications with Bureau of Economic Research personnel. All monetary values are in
current year dollars.

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

3.4.3 Diving and Water Sport Economic Data

In 2001, thirty dive school/shops and twenty-one water sport business licenses were issued for
St. Thomas and St. John (Personal Communication with ("per. comm.") S. Fahie, Department of
Consumer Affairs and Licensing, St. Thomas); six dive businesses and six water sport licenses
were issued on St. Croix (per. comm. Pinney, Department of Consumer Affairs and Licensing,
St. Croix). While these businesses may report Gross Receipts, participate in the V.I. Employment
Security reporting, and exchange information within formal or informal business associations,
the revenue data, gross receipts tax, employment, annual days of activity, wages, etc., are not
analyzed by any government agency. Stakeholders report that on St. Croix and St. Thomas
"informal" water sport businesses seem to start up and close down frequently.

Data on divers' "willingness to pay" as consumers is important for economic analysis of diving
activity. Document review did not identify any studies that gathered that information.

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

4.0 User Groups

4.1 Description of User Groups

For purposes of this Report, the user groups are identified as follows:

Table 4 1 Identification of User Groups
Boaters Commercial Carry passengers for hire, e.g., ferries, charter boats, etc.
Recreational Personal watercraft used for fishing, diving, sailing, etc.
Divers Dive Shops Sell or rent equipment for diving; Tours for hire
Divers Personal, educational purposes.
Fishers Commercial Depend on fishing for livelihood full time or part time.
Recreational Subsistence and game fishing.
Hotel/Tourism Owners or managers of hotels, inns, etc., or
tourism-related services and businesses.
Real Estate Property sales, rentals.
Supportive Boat repair, re-fueling, ships' stores, fishing gear, bait
Note: Additional user group categories and description can be found in Bunce, et al. (2000), and
Salm and Clark (2000).

4.2 Socio-Demographic Summary of User Groups
Represented in the Stakeholder Process

Media announcements and letters of invitation attracted a diverse if small group of residents
to the stakeholder process. Consistent with the non-random sampling method, the composition of
the stakeholder groups participating did not appear to reflect the diversity of the general
population. The survey instrument requested basic information, but did not, for the sake of
brevity, include information on ethnicity, place of birth, specifics on employment, income, or

By observation of the Facilitator and review of sign-in sheets, it appeared that the community
briefings on St. John and St. Croix were more racially diverse than on St. Thomas. A fairly even
number of people of color and Caucasian attended the St. John meeting. At the St. Croix
meeting, approximately two-thirds were people of color. In the St. Thomas meeting, there was
only one person of color and two of French descent; the others were Caucasian. In all community
briefings there was representation by government, NGOs, and the private sector.

The participants in the St. John focus group consisted of Caucasian residents from the private
sector and from community-based organizations (CBOs). The St. Thomas focus group was
racially diverse with NGOs, public, and private sector representation. Of the three St. Croix
focus groups, one meeting was attended entirely by federal and local government personnel,
including one person of color; the second group was diversely represented by race and sector;
and the third, and smallest, group was also diverse by race and sector.

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

4.3 Summary of Findings from Survey

A summary of stakeholder demographics, marine interests, level of involvement in their areas of
interest, and their opinions regarding MPA issues was prepared from surveys completed by an
estimated 90% of the participants in the community briefings and focus groups. All respondents
answered the non-economic questions, i.e., about their marine interests, and their level of
involvement in marine activity. Few respondents shared economic details. The reluctance to
provide economic information is understandable and suggests that, in order to obtain the
necessary data, MPA planners must establish a level of trust and incorporate "ground rules" in
the process that protect confidentiality. Future efforts can gather baseline information using a
comprehensive, culturally competent instrument for a statistically representative sample, and a
shorter, but more widely-distributed instrument for other information.

The values given to marine resources by the respondents are described in the valuation
assessment in Chapter 7. The survey instruments appear in Appendix III, and stakeholder
demographics in Appendix IV.

4.3.1 Description of Stakeholders' Marine Interests

Participants were asked to indicate all of their marine interests and involvement with marine
resources. The data in Tables 4-2 and 4-3 represent the number of times the interest area was
selected by stakeholders. Table 4-2 shows all interest areas; Table 4-3 shows the primary and
secondary interest areas. Education, science, environment, property value, and quality of life
appeared under the "Other" category.

Table 4 2 Stakeholder Interests
Interest Commercial Recreation Education Science Environment Property Value Qual. of Life
Boating 19 37
Ferry 9
Charter 10
Dive shop/ 6 11
Fishing 19 52
Support 12
Other areas 43 34 47 14 47
Source: MPA Stakeholder Survey 2001

Stakeholders were asked to identify their primary levels of interest and were encouraged to list as
many interests as applicable. Table 4-3 shows the total numbers of stakeholders who selected
each Commercial, Recreational, or Other (specific) interest area. The second column reflects the
number of stakeholders who selected the particular interest area. The last column shows the
percentage of stakeholders for whom the selection was a primary interest. For all users, the six
recreational interest areas generated a total of 187 responses: 52 selected Diving, for 84% of

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

them, diving was their primary interest. Additional details on interest and level of involvement
are provided in Appendix IV.

Table 4 3 Stakeholder Primary Interest
AREA OF INTEREST # of Responses % for whom was Primary Interest
1. Marine interest Commercial
Boats (Ferry) 8 50%
Boats (Charter) 9 50%
Boats (Repair, Fuel, Maintenance) 4 75%
Boats (Provisioning) 2 50%
Dive Shop 5 40%
Fishing 19 83%
Marina 4 0%
Other 12 100%
2. Marine interest Recreational
Swim/Camp 49 70%
Fish 27 58%
Dive/Snorkel 52 84%
Boat 37 60%
Parasail/Kayak 20 50%
Other 2
3. Marine Interest Other
Educational 42 73%
Scientific 33 78%
Environmental 46 89%
Property Value 13 50%
Quality of life 46 86%
Table 4-3 Source: MPA Stakeholder Survey 2001

Information from the user-specific survey and the supplemental survey appear, generally, to be
consistent, e.g., the number of stakeholders indicating their area of interest by self-assignment to
a user group is similar to the numbers for the primary and secondary interest recorded on the
supplemental survey. Limited, descriptive information was requested for the respondents' Level
of Involvement in the selected interest areass.

22 Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Table 4-4 MPA Benefits and Concern
User groups Will MPA enhance Benefits of an MPA Concerns about MPA
your industry?
Yes no don't know Economic Quality of Life Environmental Other Size Time Management Other

Commercial 100% 25% 25% 50% 0 0 100% 0
2* (2)** (1) (2) (1) (2)
Recreational 88% 25% 25% 50% 0 0 100%
9 (7) (2) (1) (7) (7)

Divers 100% 14% 19% 62% 5% 6% 6% 75% 13%
14 (14) (3) (4) (13) not specified (1) (1) (12) (2)
dive shops 100% 33% 33% 33% 0 0 (100%) (0)
1 (1) (1) (1) (1) (1)
Commercial 89% 11% 33% 33% 33% 21% 43% 36% 0
9 (8) (1) (5) (5) (5) (3) (6) (5)
Recreational 67% 33% 20% 40% 40% 17% 50% 17% 17%
3 (2) (1) (1) (2) (2) (1) (3) (1) (1)
Hotel/Tourism 100% 21% 35% 37% 0 25% 75% 0
6 (6) (3) (5) (6) (2) (6)
Real Estate 100% 25% 17% 33% 25% 0 33% 67% 0
5 (5) (3) (2) (4) not specified (1) (2)
Supportive 88% 12% 24% 29% 38% 9% 4% 20 % 58% 0
Business (18) (2) (7) (8) (12) (3) (4) (5) (14)
Source: MPA Stakeholder Survey 2001
Number of respondents
% represents % of total responses to the question
** represents total number of responses to the question

Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

5.0 Description of Use Patterns

The information in this Chapter describes the various uses of marine resources, including
frequency of use and seasonality, scale of dependency, and location of activity. Information
may be indicative, but not conclusive, regarding use patterns.

A number of studies were completed between 1973 and 1997 describing uses of the marine
resources in the VI National Park and the Biosphere Reserve. A 1979 "Socio-Economic
Survey of Recreational Boating and Fishing in the USVI" (Olsen, 1979) appears to have
been the only assessment to address the entire USVI.

The Year 2000 "Water Quality Assessment for the USVI" (Division of Environmental
Protection, 2001) contains a summary of classified uses and an assessment of which water
bodies support the designated uses. The report states that there are 65 beaches but the
specific beach site names and the activities enjoyed at those sites are not provided.

Information on uses such as diving, jet skiing, camping, etc., are included parenthetically in
many of the studies, but no reports specific to these activities were identified in the
document search. Therefore, a study to characterize specific marine uses may be fertile
ground for a comprehensive assessment of use activities at the above-referenced 65 beach
sites and the other non-beach marine sites referenced in the Year 2000"Water Quality

To add to the understanding of how the marine resources are currently used, participants in
the community briefings were invited to write directly onto Marine Community Maps uses
of the marine resources with which they were familiar. It may be important for the marine
managers) to review this list and create other opportunities for residents to express their
uses of the marine resources. There may well be more than a few surprises when the uses
expressed by stakeholders are compared with information in various reports. The locations
and uses identified by stakeholder participants are set forth Appendix V.

5.1 Major Commercial Uses of the Marine Resource

An effort was made to characterize the major uses of the marine resource, and to describe
the frequency, scale of use, and location of use. Available data supported a preliminary
description for most of the major uses. Location of uses identified by stakeholders is
included in this section, and in Appendix V.

The impact of shipping and transport was not considered in the project design, but should be
included in future work. The increase in inter-island ferry traffic St. John/St.Thomas, and
St. Croix/St. Thomas may increase the stresses and threats on the nearshore fish and coral
reefs. The close proximity of shipping routes especially for oil transport should be
factored into marine management emergency response plans.

Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

5.1.1 Commercial Boating

According to a Division of Fish and Wildlife report, in early 2000 there were 2,462
registered boats in the USVI, including both private and commercial boats (Uwate, Tobias,
et al., 2001). The VI Charter Yacht League reports that there are 150 Term Charter
Boats/Yachts (i.e., boats that take passengers for hire out for one week or longer), and a
similar number of day sail and day fishing charter boats (i.e., vessels that depend primarily
on cruise ships to book day tours) operating in the USVI (Chandler, 2001). Boating
information from the recreational fishing survey (Mateo, et al., 2000) lists 499 commercial,
recreational, and fishing boats.

Frequency/ seasonality
The "Socio-economic Survey of Recreational Boating and Fishing in the USVI" (Olsen,
1979) reported no significant difference in boat use between the "summer" and "winter"
months. No information was found for recent years.

Scale of Dependency
In 1979, less than 2% of the registered vessels carried passengers for hire and there were
estimated 200-300 boats in the charter business (Olsen, 1979).

Based on 2001 data that appears in Table 3-4 and in Appendix II, provided by Uwate,
Tobias, et al. (2001), Chandler (2001), and Mateo, et al. (2000), it appears that 26% of
registered boats are engaged in commercial activities.

Locations of stakeholder- identified boating use

St. Croix St. John St. Thomas
Frederiksted beaches Cruz Bay Hans Lollick, Saba Island
Frederiksted Harbor Flamingo Point, Sprat Bay
Christiansted Harbor Bolongo Bay
Cane Bay to Annaly Bay Charlotte Amalie Harbor
Beauregard Bay, Teague Bay

Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

5.1.2 Commercial Boating:
VI National Park and Proposed Marine Conservation District
(MCD) on St. John

The VI Resource Management Cooperative reported that boating increased from about ten
boats a day in 1968 to more than eighty boats a day in 1986 (Rogers, Mclain, Zullo, 1988).
No recent data were found.

Locations of stakeholder- identified boating use

The VI Resource Management Cooperative lists the location of boating activity on St. John
as follows:
FrancisBay 24.1% Maho Bay 15.8% Hawksnest Bay 04.7%
Caneel Bay 38.0% Leinster Bay 17.3%
(Rogers, 1988). Recent data was not found.

5.1.3 Commercial Fishing

Frequency/ seasonality

In a final report on sport fishing restoration, commercial fish landings increased from 11,913
in 1996-1997, to 16,499 landings in 1997-1998, representing an increase of 38%. Fish
landings fell to 12,769 in 1998-99, representing a 23% decrease (Tobias, et al., 2000).

Reef fish such as Nassau Grouper (nearly extinct in the USVI), Red Hind, and Mutton
Snapper form breeding aggregations at certain times of the year during which they are
vulnerable to exploitation from fishing pressure. A closed season exists annually for Red
Hind from December through February off the south coast of St. Thomas, and at the head of
Lang Bank on St. Croix. There is a closed season for Mutton Snapper off the southwest
coast of St. Croix from March through June each year (Division of Fish and Wildlife
brochure, undated). Additional information on seasonality was not found in the Division of
Fish and Wildlife reports, nor in other available materials.

Scale of the Dependency

Changes in the dependency on commercial fishing between 1930-2000 have been
Fiedler and Jarvis (1932) completed the earliest economic fisheries survey of the
USVI in 1930. They reported 405 active fishermen (33% of the labor force) landing
a total catch of 616,000 pounds, concluding the resource to be approximately 50%
under -fished;
Dammann, et al. (1969) reported that USVI fishery resources supplied approximately
60% of local consumption;
McElroy (1978) reported that commercial fishers were less than 1% of the

Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

The number of registered commercial fishers in the Territory has not changed significantly
in recent years. The Division of Fish and Wildlife reports that commercial fishers numbered
343 in 1996, 369 in 1997-98, 342 in 1998-99, and 349 in 1999. The latter was the most
recent year for which reliable data was available (Tobias, et al., 2000).

Table 5-1 Registered Fishers 1996 1999
Registered fishers Reporting fishers Landings
Years '96-'97 97-'98 98-'99 '96-'97 97-'98 98-'99 '96-'97 97-'98 98 -'99
St. Croix 212 216 206 210 208 200 7,192 10,465 7,670
St. John/ St. 131 153 143 124(95%) 138(90%) 6 (95%) 4,721 6,034 5,099
USVI 343 369 342 11,913 16,499 12,769
Source: Developed from Division of Fish and Wildlife information (Tobias, et al., 2000)

Location of commercialfishing activity

The locations are shown as reported in a 1997-2000 summary report by the Division of Fish
and Wildlife (Tobias, et al., 2000).

St. Croix
Pot fish: majority caught south of the island ('97); east and northeast ('97-99)
Nets: nearly equal landings in northeast and southwest ('96-97, and '97-99)
Spearfishers, lobster/conch: highest landings in eastern half ('96-97)
Conch: eastern half of island ('96-97); northeastern ('97-98); southern ('98-99)
Pelagic: northeast ('96-97); western and northeastern ('97-99)
Lobster: eastern half ('96-99)

St. Thomas/St.John
Majority of total catch is northwest, southwest, and northeast of St. Thomas
Pot Fish: southwest of St. Thomas ('96-98)
Nets: northside of St. Thomas

It is noted that in the 1994 "Description of the Fishing Activity in the Proposed Marine
Conservation District South of St. John", fourteen of the fifteen fishers interviewed reported
fishing for Yellowtail Snapper ( Lutjanidae), and Hardnose/Blue Runner, (Carangidae) in
the waters southeast of St. John. Citing gaps in data, the report further states that between
July 1992 and June 1993, landings south of St. John accounted for 12% of the total landings
reported to Caribbean Fisheries Management Council, and concluded that, "The fishing
activity in the areas seems to be higher than previously reported." (CFMC, 1994).

Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

5.2 Major Recreational Uses of USVI Marine Resources

5.2.1 Boating

Recreational boating in the USVI occurs in two categories: 1) residents and tourists who
own and use their own boats, and 2) residents and tourists who rent or charter yachts/boats
for fishing, pleasure cruises, sailing, diving, or other marine or pleasure-related activities. In
the St. Thomas community briefing, it was stated that data from government agencies and
boating organizations are now being shared and could result is a more accurate picture of
this area. There has been no confirmation of formal or informal exchange of data.

Frequency/ seasonality

Data to support economic valuation of recreational boating is not compiled or collected by
the Bureau of Economic Research or the Department of Consumer Affairs and Licensing.
The data gathered by the Division Fish and Wildlife is not sufficient to complete the
valuation work, although anecdotal references appear in the literature reviewed for this

Scale of the Dependency

Private recreational boats reportedly total 1,183 registered boats (Mateo, et al., 2000).
According to the Division of Fish and Wildlife, in early 2000 there were 2,462 registered
boats in the USVI. This figure included private and commercial boats (Uwate, Tobias, et al.,

In 1978 the Department of Conservation and Cultural Affairs reported a total of 1,789
registered boats, 75% were registered as recreational. Earlier counts may have included
commercial boats (Olsen, 1979).

Using the 2001 figures, recreational vessels are down from 75% in 1978, to less than 50% of
the registered boats in 2001.

Locations of stakeholder-identified recreational boating use

St. Croix St. John St. Thomas
Green Cay, Beauregard Bay [None identified] Hans Lollick
Annaly Bay to Cane Bay
Sprat Hall, Sandy Point
Cottongarden Bay
Teague Bay, Turner Hole

Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

5.2.2. Virgin Islands National Park St. John

The Virgin Islands National Park has long enjoyed the attention of tourists as well as the
scientific community. Numerous studies and reports have been completed over the last 30+
years that provide what may be the most detailed descriptions of any marine resource area in
the USVI.

Frequency/ seasonality

Recreational uses of the waters and beaches of the Virgin Islands National Park and
Biosphere have increased dramatically from less than 100,000 persons in 1967, to more than
750,000 in 1986, to 802,000 in 2000 (Virgin Islands National Park Summary, 2001). The
recent reports include such specific present uses as day trips, camping, and water-based
sports and activities.

5.2.3. Buck Island National Monument

Boating information was not found in the materials.

5.3 Recreational Fishing

In early studies by Olsen (1979), "recreational fisherman" is loosely defined as a person who
has either demonstrated fishing activity or has the capability for fishing activity (i.e., boat
owners). The definition also includes non-extractive marine resource users such as
snorkelers and underwater photographers. This convention influences some present-day
work; however recent studies by the Division Fish and Wildlife limit the category solely to
fishing per se, and provide extensive documentation on fish landings, methods, etc.

Table 5-2 Recreational Fishing
St. Croix St.Thomas/St.John Total
USVI residents 54,882 61,888 116,770
Residents' Recreational Fishing 3,294 7,705 10,999
Percentage of USVI Residents 6.0% 12.4% 9.4%
Source: Developed from information from Division of Fish and Wildlife, 1999

Frequency/ seasonality

A closed season exists annually for Red Hind from December through February in an area
off the south coast of St. Thomas and at the head of Lang Bank on St. Croix. There is a
closed season for Mutton Snapper off the southwest coast of St. Croix from March through
June each year (Division of Fish and Wildlife brochure, undated)

According to Mateo, "saltwater recreational fishing" is a popular outdoor activity enjoyed by
approximately 11% of residents (12,800 individuals). Mateo, 1999, and Mateo, et al., 2000.
Further, "shore-fishing" is a form of recreation practiced by thousands of USVI residents
annually despite low catches and lack of facilities (Mateo, 1999).

Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

The seasonality of recreational fishing on St. Croix is reported to be February, April, July,
and October. For St. Thomas/St. John, it is from May to November (Mateo, 2001). (The
designated areas, and closed season, for reef fish was described in Section 5.1.3 )

Scale of the Dependency

Recognized as one of the premier locations in the world for Blue Marlin fishing by sports
fishing publications, the USVI is marketed in part as a true sport fisher paradise (per. comm.
Department of Tourism). The USVI annually attracts 40 recreational and charter vessels
from the U.S. and the Caribbean. Recreational fishing annually provides revenues of more
than $5.5 million into the V.I. economy (Mateo, et al., 2001).

As many as fifteen organized recreational fishing tournaments are held annually for inshore
and offshore gamefish species. From 1995-2000, Division of Fish and Wildlife personnel
acted as weighmasters and/or collected data for 48 such tournaments (Mateo, et al., 2000).

Locations of stakeholder-identified recreationalfishing

A 1999 Recreational Fisheries Telephone Survey (Mateo, 1999) identifies the most popular
fishing sites for St. Croix (north and east coasts) and St.Thomas-St.John (waterfront). The
top three sites for anglers, by District, are:

St. Croix St. Thomas-St. John
Frederiksted Pier Waterfront
Altona Lagoon Northside
Offshore East of Buck Island Crown Bay

A VI Marine Resource Cooperative Report surveyed licensed and unlicensed fishers on St.
John and describes fishing activity in detail. That data is not currently collected and
reported. The report indicated that subsistence or recreational fishermen set traps both within
and outside the Biosphere reserve. Fishers frequented Fish and Reef Bays on the south side
and Johnson's Reef on the north side for lobster. Subsistence fishing also occurred from
Rams' Head around to East End and south to Cruz Bay (Koester, 1986).

5.4 Diving

The U.S. Virgin Islands is often described as a major diving destination in the Caribbean.
About 25-30 dive businesses current operate in the USVI, up from 20 in the 1980s. The
Department of Consumer Affairs and Licensing reports thirty Diving/Diving School licenses
were issued for the St. Thomas/St. John District, and six for St. Croix in the year 2001.


According to one global reef research organization, 45,000 snorkelers use the Buck Island
Reef National Monument underwater trails annually (Reefbase, 2001). Many of St. Croix's
dive and snorkel sites experience 100-200 visitors per site on days when cruise ships are in
port (Per. Comm. Cane Bay Dive Shop instructors).

Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Scale of Dependency

In 2001, there were thirty diving shop businesses/schools licensed on St. Thomas and St.
John, and six on St. Croix (Per Comm. Fahie, Department of Consumer Affairs and
Licensing, St. Thomas). There are six on St. Croix (Per. Comm. Pinney, Department of
Consumer Affairs and Licensing, St Croix).

Locations of stakeholder- identified diving activity
St. Croix St. John St. Thomas
Along the west shore from Coral Bay, Newfound Bay, Mingo Cay, Great St. James
Sprat Hall to Sandy Point; Whistling Cay, Johnson Reef Island, Little St. James Island
The North Shore between Long Point and south of
Cane Bay and Davis Bay; Long Point, Saba Island
Protestant Cay, Green Cay, Bolongo Bay, Fist Cay,
Frederiksted Beaches Frenchmen's Bay, northwest
and northeast sides of Hans

5.5 Watersports

The category of data called "recreation" collected by the Bureau of Economic Research does
not differentiate between types of watersports such as parasailing, mini subs, jet skis, etc.
The Department of Consumer Affairs and Licensing also does not issue licenses that are
specific to the above-named watersports. It would be helpful if an agency of government
were charged with collection of water sports data in a format that could be used for
economic and descriptive analysis of marine resource and other purposes.

Scale of Dependency

There are 22 watersport rental businesses licensed on St Thomas/St. John (Per. Comm., Ms.
Fahie, Dept. of Consumer Affairs and Licensing, St.Thomas); and six watersport businesses
on St. Croix (Per. Comm. Ms. Pinney, Dept. of Consumer Affairs and Licensing, St. Croix).

Locations of stakeholder- identified watersports use

St. Croix St. John St. Thomas
Frederiksted [No sites were West Cay, eastern peninsula
Between Annaly and Cane Bay, identified on maps in of Magens Bay, Cowpet Bay,
Chenay Bay, Turner Hole, the community Great St. James Island
Green Cay, Great Pond Bay, briefing]
Salt River

Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

5.6 Swimming/Camping/Hiking/Snorkeling

Data does not appear to have been collected in these categories. A decision should be
reached to designate a specific agency and charge it with the responsibility to collect data,
and to do so in a format that will be useful in completing marine resources economic and
descriptive assessments.

No information was located.

Scale of Dependency
No information was located.

Locations of stakeholder- identified uses
St. Croix St. John St. Thomas
Use: Snorkeling Use: Snorkeling Use: Snorkeling

Long Point to Sandy Point, Mennebeck Bay, Brown Magens, Hans Lollick, Coki
Ha'penny Beach, Great Pond Bay, Leinster Bay, Francis Point, Smith Bay,
Bay, Turner Hole, Point Bay, Hawknest, Rata Cay, Bolongo Bay, Flamingo
Udall to Great Pond Bay, and Hersey Cay Point, Sprat Bay, Saba
Cottongarden Bay, Teague Trunk Bay and Newfound Island, NW Jersey Bay.
Bay, Chenay Bay to Teague Bay.
Bay, Sprat Hall,
Frederiksted, Sandy Point,
Annaly Bay to Cane Bay,
Butler Bay to Annaly Bay.

Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

5.7 Education / Research / Ecotourism

The MPA stakeholders identified sites that they use, or know to be used, for educational,
research, and/or ecotourism activities. They also included sites that they think should be

On St. Croix, there are educational/ecotourism hikes and tours conducted by the St. Croix
Environmental Association (SEA), University of the Virgin Islands Cooperative Extension
Service, and individuals and groups, e.g., Bamboula Haven, Inc., Lumumba Coriette, and
others, as part of education programs. As an outgrowth of a tourism entrepreneurship
training sponsored by the Virgin Islands Tourism Awareness and Advancement Link, Inc.
(VITAAL), in 1998, and a taxi and tour training sponsored by the Frederiksted Economic
Development Association in 2002, safari bus and taxi van operators have begun to
incorporate environmental information into their tours and site descriptions.

On St. John, the VI Environmental Research Station (VIERS) and the National Park Service
provide numerous opportunities for education and ecotourism activities. St. John has the
additional benefit of Cinnamon Bay Campgrounds, Maho Bay, Harmony, and Concordia
Eco-tents I and II, that specifically promote "living" the educational, environmental, eco-
tourism experience by visitors.

On St. Thomas, according to stakeholders and local media, Mandahl Bay and Magens Bay
now offer or support eco-tours. Coral World Marine Park and Underwater Observatory is
generally marketed in the eco-tour category (Per. Comm. Department of Tourism).

Information was not found.

Scale of Dependency
Information was not found.

Locations of stakeholder -identified educational/ research / ecotourism uses
St. Croix St. John St. Thomas
Sandy Point [None identified on the Fist Cay
Butler Bay Community Marine Maps] Providence Point
Rust-op Twist Flamingo Bay
Cane Bay to Salt River, Buck Island (NP);
Chenay Bay to Teague Bay Magen's peninsula (outer
Pelican Rock (NP) side) (NP)
Point Udall to Great Pond Bay
Turner Hole
Long Point to Sandy Point
NP indicates "Needs Protection" as recommended by stakeholders.

Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands 33

6.0 Economic Valuation Assessment

Values associated with marine resources have been measured in many different ways -
depending upon the expected use, analysis to be undertaken, and the extent to which data is
available. "Valuation" is described as a means of justifying the existence of marine protected
areas (Salm and Clark, 2000). For this Report, we have taken an all-inclusive approach; that
is, we identified all marine-related goods and services, support systems, and functional
diversity; then we attempted to gather the necessary information to quantify the total
economic value. This "total economic value" (TEV) provides a baseline of available
information and analysis, allows for the greatest flexibility in current and future use of the
information, and has the benefit of helping to identify gaps in data and future research needs.

Unless otherwise indicated, the definitions, procedures, and figures in this Chapter were
developed by the authors of this Report based on extensive research materials and on
dialogue among professionals involved and/or familiar with economic and social science
research. The economic multipliers and some assumptions used in this Report have been
developed, refined, and tested since 1988 in applications used by decision-support models
developed for a local governmental and a quasi-governmental agency, respectively.4

6.1 Methodology

Variations of the "Total Economic Value" approach (TEV) have been used in numerous
marine valuation studies (see Cesar, 2000). Consistent with these, our TEV approach
incorporates a combination of use and non-use values related to the marine environment.
We assume the use and non-use values generate, or have, economic values that can be
measured through other means. As Figure 6-1 shows, there are five distinct categories.

Figure 6 1 Categories of Economic Value
Use Values Non-Use Values
1. Direct Use 1. Option
Extractive 2. Bequest
Non-Extractive 3. Existence
2. Indirect Use

"Use values" include both direct and indirect uses. "Direct uses" are those are consumable
directly, including extractive and non-extractive uses. "Direct extractive uses" include
fishing and aquarium trade; "non-extractive uses" include tourism, recreation, and research.
"Indirect uses" provide more indirect gain or enjoyment, including biological support for
birds, fish, and turtles as well as physical protection for ecosystems, coastal areas, and
navigation routes.

4 The Virgin Islands Energy and Economics Management Information System (EEMIS) used by the V.I.
Energy Office successfully linked energy efficiency to economic impacts, i.e., jobs, income, etc. In 1999,
EEMIS adapted to implement a recycling economics management information system (MIS) for the Anti-
Litter and Beautification Commission on St. Croix. John Laitner of Economic Research Associates and
Marshall Goldberg of MRG Associates collaborated on the former project. MRG worked with Hinds,
Unltd., on the development of REMIS, and was a member of the Hinds, Unltd., team that prepared
this Report.

Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

"Non-use values" recognize the concept that preserving existing resources has value in the
future both to the marine ecosystems and humans. So much can be gained from avoiding
irreversible losses. Some benefits include option value for species, habitat, and biodiversity.
For example, biological substances from the marine environment may be used in
pharmaceuticals to develop cures for disease. "Bequest value" recognizes there is a value in
knowing the marine environment (and all it encompasses) exists and posterity will be able to
use and enjoy it. "Existence value" acknowledges that something has intrinsic value,
whether or not it is used.

Figure 6-2 adapts Dixon's "Introduction to Environmental Economics" (Dixon, 2002) and
"Economic Analysis and Environmental Assessment" (Dixon, 1998) to the TEV concept
used in this Report. (Appendix VI provides additional information on TEV).

Figure 6-2 Marine Valuation Use Values
1. Direct Use : Structural values usually measure output
Extractive (consumptive) e.g., fishing, coral collection
Non-Extractive (non-consumptive) e.g., diving, snorkeling, swimming
Techniques: Changes in output of marketable goods; Cost-based
approaches; Hedonic prices; Contingent Valuation, Travel Costs
2. Indirect Use: Functional values usually measures benefits and services
Pelagic and other fish dependent on reef fish
Storm surge protection for coastal areas
Techniques: Cost-based approaches; Contingent valuation methods
Non-Use Values
1. Option value "I may want to use the reef in the future."
Techniques: Contingent valuation; hedonic prices
2. Bequest value "I want to leave it for my children."
Technique: Contingent valuation
3. Existence value "I get a benefit from knowing that it is there."
Technique: Contingent valuation

6.1.1 Data Collection

With this basic framework established, we relied on a number of sources to gather current
and historical information for analysis. These include:
Marine related studies completed for the USVI and other areas;
Government departments and agencies;
USVI industry groups;
USVI Energy and Economic Management Information System
(EEMIS), and the Recycling Economics Management Information
System (REMIS); and,
Focus groups and survey findings from tri-island meetings conducted
in November and December 2001.

Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

The literature research initially revealed only a few marine-related studies specific to the
USVI. However, upon preliminary review of these studies we found references to a number
of marine-related studies completed during the last twenty years that focused on specific
activities for the Territory as a whole. A more detailed review of available studies and the
information obtained from other sources was informative for determining use values
primarily related to tourism, fisheries, and recreation.

The types of data collected include:

Value of output
Expenditure patterns
Activity levels
Other economic and demographic data.

Little information was available to support economic analysis of these elements:

Aquarium trade
Souvenir manufacturing
Educational and research functions
Access for shipping/commerce
Biological support for wildlife
Coastal protection

Similarly, we found little information to quantify or support economic analysis of any of the
above-noted non-use categories. This is not surprising since most of the marine-related
studies and the organizations contacted focus their data-gathering and research primarily on
direct uses of marine resources. Furthermore, the key methodologies employed to derive
economic valuation of non-use values, such as asking residents and tourists questions
regarding their willingness-to-pay (i.e., contingent valuation or other methodologies) require
extensive interviews and surveys that are costly to perform.

Due to the limitations of this study (i.e., data to be derived from existing/secondary sources
rather than primary data collection) our analysis focuses largely on the direct use values for
which we were able to obtain information. Where applicable, this Report has included
indications of use and non-use values derived from existing studies and survey responses
from the focus group sessions.

Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands 36

6.1.2 Quantification of Uses

The working premise in this analysis is that the marine environment, its unique resources,
and its health, have values that can be monetized. Further, we assume many of these values
to be directly related to the Territory's economy. Numerous existing studies5 and the
significant marketing focus on the Territory's marine attributes (fishing, diving, beaches,
etc.) support these premises as applicable for tourists and residents alike. Thus, with the
range of goods and services identified we then gathered all available information to quantify
the direct and total economic values where applicable. This included data on numbers of
fisherman, fishing and boating activities, annual catch, average costs, and expenditures,
among others.

It is noted, again, that the Bureau of Economic Research states that it does not estimate
economic multipliers for key sectors, such as tourism. No multipliers were available from
that agency or elsewhere. Data for capital expenditures and major equipment that support
marine activities, such as fishing and boating, are not collected. A survey to collect such
data was beyond the scope of the project.

Quantifying the total economic values is a two-step process. For purposes of this analysis,
"economic value" is the economic output or benefit derived from the respective use or
activity. The first step was to determine direct value. In theory, this value is fairly
straightforward it refers to the on-site or immediate effects created by a use or activity. In
practice, however, direct value is not used to determine non-use values, nor it is used where
only limited information is available. Such instances are comparable to the limitations of
this study where we had to rely on existing analysis that was available.

In the case of commercial fishing, the direct value is the market value of fish caught by local
commercial fishermen. In the case of tourism where information on visitor spending is
relatively comprehensive and current, the year 2000 values (the most recently reported) were
adopted. In other cases, such as boating, information is less detailed and more limited;
therefore, it was necessary to combine the limited current information with data gathered
from previous studies to develop an updated expenditure pattern from which to derive a
direct value.

Once the direct values are calculated, the question then posed by this analysis is, "What are
the total economic benefits or monetary values associated with the respective marine uses
and activities?" To capture the full economic value, we must also account for the value or
benefits derived from indirect economic activity resulting from the direct transactions.
There are changes in economic activity that occur as "support industries" (inter-industry
linkages) respond to the demands of the directly-affected industry. For example, as payment
for goods or services is received, proprietors of support businesses (e.g., the fisherman or
hotel owner) purchase necessary goods and services from other vendors, and so on. Clearly,
spending patterns for marine related uses and activities have an additional effect on total
economic activity and the associated value.

5 Among others, see Posner, et al., 1981; Olsen, 1979; Rogers, et al., 1988; and Downs, et al., 1997.

Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands 37

Other examples of support industries are: Bankers who finance purchases of equipment,
accountants who balance the books, insurance companies that provide various types of
insurance coverage and protection, building owners who rent office space, and fuel suppliers
who provide motor fuel for business cars, trucks, and boats. Clearly, spending patterns for
marine related uses and activities have an additional effect on total economic activity and
associated value.

Economic output multipliers are used (where applicable) to the direct and indirect effects of
change in economic activity6. These multipliers, accounting for local spending patterns and
import ratios, capture the economic activity generated from a given level of spending in each
sector to derive the total economic value. Economic output has a monetary value and
contributes directly to GTP; in other words, expenditures that result in net output contribute
to economic growth.

Despite extensive attempts to gather detailed and reliable data, there are a number of
uncertain elements in this analysis. For example, where incomplete data is available on
boating expenditures and numbers and types of boats, we made assumptions based on
previous studies and anecdotal information. Similarly, due to a lack of detailed information
on local industry/activity purchase patterns, we made conservative assumptions in an effort
not to overstate any benefits that accrue.

Please note that, due to the nature and extent of the information provided on tourism
expenditures, the total value reported for tourism should not be summed with the total values
for recreational uses and activities, although the tourism value undoubtedly captures a
portion of the recreational and fishery values noted in subsequent sections addressed in this

6 No economic multipliers were available from the USVI Government, nor was data available on
import content of goods or local spending patterns. Thus, to derive a local economic multiplier for
fishing and boating-related expenditures and revenues, the authors relied primarily on economic
analysis we completed in the USVI using anecdotal evidence compiled over the last ten years. The
multiplier was calculated using the formula 1/(1-AB), where A represents the marginal propensity to
purchase local goods and services, and B represents the share of local expenditures that accrue as
income to the local economy. For this analysis, we assume A equals 80 percent and B equals 50
percent. This methodology is similar to that employed in Olsen (1979).

Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

With this in mind, the summary results contained in Table 6-1 should not be viewed as
definitive values, but rather indicative of the magnitude of monetary values for the
respective marine resource uses and related activities. All monetary values are reported in
year 2000 constant dollars for consistency in reporting and to facilitate comparisons.

Table 6 1 Marine Valuation
Summary of Marine Related Valuation Assessment (in Year 2000 Dollars)
Direct Monetary Value Total Monetary Value
Use Category/ Use Values (Million Dollars) (Million Dollars)
Commercial Fishing $4.8 $8.0
Recreational Fishing $0.5 $0.7 N/A
Recreational Boats $12.8 $21.4
Term Charter Boats/Yachts $29 $49
Tourism N/A $1,157*
Diving, Water Sports, Other N/A N/A
Recreation, Other Uses
Total of all uses
This table summarizes information found in the respective tables and text in this Chapter and in
Appendix II. Bureau of Economic ResearchAnnual Tourism Indicator andAnnual Economic
Indicators 2001 "N/A" indicates information not available.

Sections 6.2 through 6.5 provide detail on the direct and total values associated with the
marine-related uses and activities analyzed. (Additional background data for the analysis is
provided in Appendix II)

Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

6.2 Fisheries Commercial and Recreational Fishing

Fisheries, whether related to commercial fishing, recreational fishing, or subsistence fishing
for household consumption, are a fundamental component of life for many of the Territory's
residents and tourists. Thus, its contribution to the economy and local employment must be
considered in the valuation of marine resources and their use. For a detailed discussion on
fishing in the USVI, see Downs, et al., 1997, among others; and for an historical perspective,
see Boulon and Clavijo, 1986, and Koester, 1986, among others.

6.2.1 Commercial Fishing

In 2000, the Division of Fish and Wildlife reported that there were 349 commercial
fishermen registered in the USVI. In 1999, the latest year for which reliable data is available
(Tobias, et al., 2000), as Table 6-3 shows, commercial fish landings were estimated at just
less than 1.2 million pounds with a gross direct monetary value of almost $4.8 million.
Accounting for the indirect impacts from this economic activity, we estimate total economic
value from commercial fishing to be just under $8 million during this one-year period. This
value 7 may understate the total value since it does not account for local purchases/spending
or financing associated with boats or other major assets (such as large equipment, buildings,
etc.,) that could not be documented.

Table 6 2 USVI Commercial Fisheries Data 1999
Category St. Croix St. Thomas/St. John Total
Registered Commercial Fishers 206 143 349
Total Trips (Reported) 7,670 5,099 12,769
Reported Landing
Pounds 607,665 583,788 1,191,453
Direct Monetary Value (Millions) $2.49 $2.29 $4.78
Output Multiplier 1.67
Total Monetary Value (Millions) ___$7.97
Notes: All data is for the one-year period 1998-1999 and was derived from Tobias, et al., "Three
Year Summary Report, 1 April 1997 31 March 2000," Cooperative Fishery Statistics Program, the
Division of Fish and Wildlife, August 2000. Total monetary value is calculated by MRG &
Associates using an output multiplier derived by MRG &Associates. See text for more detail on
this methodology. Monetary value is reported in year 2000 dollars.

7 Total monetary value is derived by multiplying the direct monetary value times the output
multiplier. MRG & Associates calculated the output multiplier. (See Section 6.1.2 for more detail.)

Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

6.2.2 Recreational Fishing

"Fishing for pleasure" in the USVI, defined as fishing with no intent to derive monetary
gain, has long been recognized as one of the most popular outdoor activities or hobbies
pursued by residents of all ages, regardless of economic status. In fact, a 1999 survey by the
Division of Fish and Wildlife found that almost 11,000 residents (9.4 percent of all
residents) participated in fishing activities during the year (Mateo, 1999). This includes big
game fishing (offshore), boat fishing (inshore), and shoreline fishing (pier, dock, beach,
etc.). Similarly, for non-residents interested in fishing and/or planning to visit the Virgin
Islands, recreational fishing is touted as "world-class" and is advertised as a key attraction
and reason to visit.

Consistent with the thousands of residents who enjoy the numerous types of fishing and the
promotional efforts to attract tourists, there were at least 46 fishing tournaments held in the
USVI between 1995 and 1999 (Mateo, et al., 2000). These marine activities extract a
significant amount of fish from area waters and, if sold, would represent a direct value
estimated to be between $455,000 and $693,000.8

As Table 6-3 indicates, based on a telephone survey completed by the Division of Fish and
Wildlife from December 1998 through July 2000, an estimated total of 172,637 pounds of
fish were caught by resident recreational fisherman (including fishing on boats and shoreline
fishing). Although no monetary value is typically placed on recreational catch (or that used
for subsistence) because of the non-market nature of the activity, if we assume the average
price per pound received by commercial fishermen, this recreational/tournament catch
would have a direct monetary value of over $693,000 annually.

Table 6-3 USVI Recreational Fisheries Data 1999

Category St. Croix St. Thomas/St. John Total
USVI residents 54,882 61,888 116,770
Residents' Recreational Fishing 3,294 7,705 10,999
Percentage of USVI Residents 6.0% 12.4% 9.4%
Total Catch (pounds) 35,225 137,412 172,637
Estimated Direct Monetary Value $693,092
Notes: Fishing data from Mateo, I., Annual Report, and Recreational Fishery Assessment
Project F-8-9 Job 7: Angler Telephone Household Survey, Division of Fish and Wildlife
1999. Demographic data from Annual Economic Indicators, Bureau of Economic Research.
Direct monetary value estimate by MRG & Associates based on sales of catch at commercial
sales price of $4.01 per pound. Monetary value is reported in year 2000 dollars.

8 See Appendix II, "Commercial Fishing Data" for more detail on how this price is derived and the source of the

Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands 41

As Table 6-4 indicates, a recent 5-year recreational fisheries study, also completed by the
Division of Fish and Wildlife, reports similar results. Including catch from tournaments
noted earlier, we estimate the direct monetary value (if the catch were sold at commercial
rates) to exceed $455,000. This lower value, compared with the 1999 study ($693,092), is
due to the smaller estimate for average annual catch over the 5-year period.

Table 6-4 USVI Recreational Fisheries Data 1995 -1999

Category St. Croix St. Thomas Total
Total Catch (pounds) 115,197 452,284 567,480
Average Annual Catch (pounds) 23,039 90,457 113,496
Estimated Annual Direct Monetary Value $455,657
Notes: All fisheries-related data was derived from Mateo, et al., "Activity and Harvest Patterns in
the U.S. Virgin Islands Recreational Fisheries, October 1, 1995 September 30,2000". The
Division of Fish and Wildlife December 2000 "Total Catch" and "Average Annual Catch" reports
shoreline and offshore catch for 1995-1999 and tournament data for 1996-2000. The estimated
Monetary Value is based on analysis by MRG & Associates that assumes the catch is marketed at an
average price of approximately $4.00 per pound (consistent with the average price received by
commercial fisherman). Monetary values are reported in year 2000 dollars.

Several past studies found similar values. A 1979 socio-economic survey of recreational
fishing and boating in the USVI attempted to address the direct value associated with
recreational fishing. According to the study, its purpose was to "indicate the presence of an
unquantifiable 'recreational product'". The study found that recreational fishing "generates a
product (catch) worth $578,000 annually" compared with a commercial fishing catch valued
at $2.4 million, both in 1978 dollars. (Olsen, 1979).

In addition to the enjoyment value (for which no direct monetary value is assigned here due
to lack of information) there are a number of activities directly associated with fishing that
contribute to the economy. These include: sale of bait, purchase of boats, fishing gear and
equipment, purchase of motor fuels for boats, slip rents, boat charter/rentals, and boat repair,
among others. Some of these values are captured in subsequent sections dealing with boats.

Another indication of the broad spectrum of local businesses that benefit from
marine/fishing related activities are those involved in the Virgin Islands Marine Industries
Association, an industry trade group representing local businesses associated with marine
activities. It represents almost twenty different types of businesses, including boat builders,
repair shops, marinas, yacht sales, communication equipment sales, and supply houses.

A 1994 recreational fishing study appears to incorporate its full economic benefits. The
study estimates fishing activities contribute $25 million annually to the USVI economy (see
Hinckey, et al., cited in Mateo, et al., 2000). The Hinckey source document was not
available for more detailed review and analysis of the results. Despite the significant role
recreational fishing plays in the Virgin Islands, and the results from the Hinckey study and
others, unfortunately, there is relatively little information available to further document or
update the full economic values associated with these activities in the USVI.

Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands 42

Similarly, no studies have been done in the USVI to measure the value residents and tourists
place on the opportunity to fish or to pursue recreational enjoyment. To the extent that
recreational fishing is associated with boating (private, term, and day charter boats) and/or
tourism expenditures, added benefits/values from resident and tourist spending are reflected
in subsequent sections in this Chapter.

6. 4 Boating Recreational

Based on information provided by the Virgin Islands Charter Yacht League there are
currently estimated to be 150 "term charter yachts" (vessels that take passengers out for one
week or longer) and a similar number of "day sail" and "day fishing charter" boats (vessels
that depend primarily on cruise ships to book day tours) operating in the USVI (Chandler,

Utilizing boating information from the recreational fishing survey cited in Section 6.3 and
expenditure data from earlier studies and from the V.I. Charter Yacht League, we estimate
the direct monetary value (i.e., expenditures) from all private recreational boats and term
charter boats was $42.2 million in 2000 (Table 6-5). For private recreational boats, this
includes expenditures for fuel, refreshments, bait, ice, slip rent and/or dingy fees, and fishing
gear only. It does not include expenditures for repairs, purchase of boats, or other
miscellaneous expenses. Expenses for term charter yachts include food and beverages,
insurance, maintenance, slip fees, wages, fuel, and commissions paid to local booking
agents. We also estimate that the term charter yachts employ (including owner-operators) an
estimated 450 persons annually.

Accounting for indirect impacts from our analysis of expenditures, the total monetary value
of private recreational boats and term charter boats/yachts is estimated to be $70.4 million.
As noted earlier, this value may understate the total value since it does not account for local
spending or financing associated with capital purchases (e.g., boats or other major
equipment) or capture all expenditures for all boats or crew members due to the
unavailability of information. Similarly, the analysis does not account for expenditures from
boats traveling to the USVI from other areas. Inasmuch as one recent study reported 48
recreational boats from the U.S. Mainland in the USVI in 2000 (Mateo, et al., 2000), this is
another area and market niche that warrants further research and analysis.

A 1981 study for the Virgin Islands National Park also attempted to provide a monetary
value for recreational boats. The study, using a similar expenditure-based analysis as was
used here, estimated a combined, gross income (direct monetary value) from all charter
boats (totaling 372), of $17.5 million in 1979 (see Posner, et al., 1981).

The study estimated an annual gross income of $13 million from crewed term charter boats.
Bareboat charter companies were reported to have grossed income of $4.5 million. The
lower values noted in this earlier study, relative to our current estimate, are due in part to a
slightly different expenditure pattern, but primarily due to rising costs for all goods and
services and higher wages for employees that have more than doubled in most areas over the
20-year period.

Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands 43

Table 6-5 USVI Registered Boat Data 2000
Category Quantity Value
All Registered Boats 2,462
Private Recreational Boats 1,813
Direct Monetary Value (Millions) $12.8
Total Monetary Value (Millions) $21.4
Term Charter Boats/Yachts 150
Total Employees* 450
Direct Monetary Value (Millions) $29.4
Total Monetary Value (Millions) $49.0
Other Commercial Recreational and Fishing Boats 499
Total Employees N/A
Direct Monetary Value (Millions) N/A
Total Monetary Value (Millions) N/A
Total Private Recreational and Term Charter Boats/Yachts 1,963
Direct Monetary Value (Millions) $42.2
Total Monetary Value (Millions) $70.4
Notes: Monetary values are based on an analysis of expenditures for the respective categories of boats.
Data on numbers of boats and expenditures are estimates derived from a number of sources noted in the
text and contained in Appendix II. Data and analysis do not include commercial fishing boats or
commercial recreational day sailboats or day charter boats due to lack of detailed information.
* Place of residence of employees, i.e., USVI or mainland US was not determined.

As Table 6-5 indicates, the direct monetary value for private recreational boats alone is
$12.8 million annually. Total monetary value is estimated to be $21.4 million. Direct
monetary value for term charter yachts and boats alone is $29.4 million annually. Total
monetary value is estimated to be $49.0 million.

No current information was available on day sail and day fishing charter boats. To the
extent these "recreation" related expenses are tourism-based, the values may also be
captured in the recreation portion of the section titled "Tourism Activity" discussed in this

6. 5 Diving and Water Sports

Similar to boating and fishing activities noted earlier, diving, snorkeling, and other water
sports, particularly those associated with the coral reefs, are a main attraction for residents
and tourists in the USVI.

Unfortunately, no data or studies were available to further document these activities and
industries or the associated monetary values. To the extent the uses and monetary value are
related to tourism, they are captured in the recreation category of the Section 6.7, "Tourism
Activity", discussed in this Chapter. (For an older, but informative, description of
recreational uses in the Virgin Islands National Park, including water sports, see Rogers, et
al., 1988.)

Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands 44

6. 6 Other Recreational Uses

The USVI marine environment encompasses just under 210 miles of coastline recreational
areas and aquatic life support with 65 miles of beaches ("2000 Water Quality Assessment",
2001). It provides and supports a many recreational uses in addition to those discussed thus
far, including swimming or wading in the water; sitting, walking, or picnicking on
beaches/coastlines; souvenir hunting; photographing and/or viewing scenic vistas and
wildlife (birds, fish, turtles, etc.).

Almost 2.5 million people visited the USVI in 2000, the majority of whom came to enjoy
the Territory's unique environment. Although neither definitive, nor directly quantifiable in
monetary terms (without additional information and analysis noted earlier), one indication of
the value residents and tourists place on marine attributes and related activities is the
significant number who choose to visit specific areas, such as the Virgin Islands National
Park on St. John, and Buck Island Reef National Monument on St. Croix. Both sites boast
of their unique marine environments.
According to the VI National Park, visitation to the park has increased dramatically by ten
times in the last thirty years. Recreational visits to the national park in St. John have risen
from below 100,000 in 1967, to almost 1,000,000 in 2000 (Rogers, et al., 1988, and V.I.
National Park, 2001). Another indication of the attractiveness and value placed on the
USVI as a destination by residents and off-islanders is found in a recent discussion on future
challenges to the VI National Park. The NPS notes that:

"With visitation to Virgin Islands National Park already at one million each
year, that number is expected to increase dramatically as the Megaa class"
cruise ships bring as many as 3,000 passengers to the Park at one time. It is
expected that within two years the smaller cruise ships will be supplanted
with the newer "eagle class" of ship that can carry up to 4,000 passengers -
doubling the regular population of St. John during a single cruise ship visit.
In three years, it is further expected that the Havensight dock on St. Thomas
will have the capacity to dock enough cruise ships to offload 20,000 visitors
onto St. Thomas, again increasing possible visitation to the Park" (National
Park Service 2001).

Although clearly not as striking in numbers as visitation to the VI National Park, visitors to
Buck Island Reef National Monument total approximately 50,000 annually (Reefbase,
2001). Unfortunately, no studies or information are available to further document these
activities or the associated monetary values other than that assimilated here in Section 6.7,
"Tourism Activity" .

6.6.1. Stakeholder Recreational Marine Resource Values

Indications of the value residents' place on marine resources and their relationship to
recreational activities are found in the following responses to survey questions asked at
community briefings on the USVI on marine protected areas:
In response to: "Access to USVI marine resources (clean beaches, fishing and fish habitat,
coral reefs, diving, boating and/or other marine related activities) is important to me? "

Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands 45

More than 97 percent of respondents "Strongly Agree".

In response to: "If marine resources were degraded (decline in water quality, reduced
numbers offish, damage to coral reef etc.) I would limit my marine related activities?"

More than 70 percent of respondents "Strongly Agree".

The summary data is presented in Appendix V.

Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands 46

6. 7 Tourism Activity

The reliance of USVI tourism on marine resources is anything but vague. One need only
view a few of the numerous informational brochures, expanding numbers of USVI
internet/web sites, and descriptions of the USVI, to fully appreciate the tourism economic
values associated with the marine environment. Promotions designed to attract tourists (and
future residents) focus almost exclusively on clean and clear waters, quiet coves of white
sandy beaches, offshore islands, blue seas, coral reefs, sea grasses, the underwater world,
fishing, boating and the like. With this obvious and important link in mind, we report all
tourism expenditures as economic value directly related to the marine environment.

As Table 6-6 indicates, just fewer than 2.5 million people visited the USVI in 2000 (the
most recent year for which complete information is available). Total visitor expenditures
exceeded $1.1 billion and were responsible for over 8,000 jobs (VI Bureau of Economic
Research, 2001). These figures are compiled by the VI Bureau of Economic Research and
represent both direct and indirect impacts to the economy. The Bureau's analysis is based
on tourism surveys completed by the Bureau and includes spending by tourists (i.e., those
who stay overnight), air excursionists, and cruise passengers. Expenditures include
spending for lodging, transportation, food and beverages, retail/shopping, recreation, and
other (business conferences, funerals, etc.).

Table 6-6 USVI Visitor Expenditures 2000

Sector Expenditures (Millions of Dollars)
Hotels/Lodging $240
Food & Beverages $158
Retail (gift shops, etc.) $495
Transportation $89
Recreation $101
Other $74
Total Monetary Value $1,157
Percent of Gross Territorial Product 57%
Tourism-Related Employment (thousands) 8,660
Percent of Private Sector Employment 30%
Total Visitors (thousands) 2,477.9
Notes: All data are derived from Bureau of Economic Research, Annual Tourism Indicators and
Annual Economic Indicators, USVI Government Development Bank, 2001, and Personal
Communications with Bureau of Economic Research representatives. Expenditures represent direct
and indirect economic activity. All dollar values are reported in year 2000 dollars.

The value of this impact is even more obvious considering that these expenditures represent
57 percent of the USVI's GTP in 2000. The employment supported by this economic
activity accounts for 30 percent of all private employment in the Territory almost one out
of every three working people, excluding government workers.

Since the Bureau of Economic Research aggregates all recreational activities in one category
the current analysis delineates more detailed expenditures that may be attributable to fishing,
boating, diving, and other water sports addressed earlier. For this reason, all or a portion of

Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands 47

the monetary values associated with these uses/activities may also be captured in tourism

6.7.1. Tourism Related Marine Resource Values

Indications of the value of marine resources as they are associated with tourism are found in
these responses to survey questions asked of hotel industry participants at the community

In response to: "How would you rate the importance of marine resources/uses (such as
clean waters, access to beaches, boating, fishing, and diving, and marine vie \ eti '\1ticiL to
tourism in the USVI?"

100 percent of respondents selected "Very significant".

In response to: "On a 5 scale, i ith 1 being highest priority, how would you rate, in level
of importance, the following amenities to hotel guests/tourists' access to: beaches, shopping,
boating/fishing/diving, restaurants?"

"Access to beaches" was rated the highest, followed by "access to boating/fishing/diving".

In response to: "What impact does the proximity to beaches/coast have on the decision by
tourists of where to stay while in the USVI? "

100 percent of respondents selected either "Very significant" (60 percent) or "Significant"
(40 percent).

In response to: "If the cIt\It /beA' /c.' and waters were degraded (oil spill, etc.) or fisheries
and/or coral reefs declined, what impact would this have on tourist visits to the USVI? "

100 percent of respondents selected "Very significant".

The following responses are from all focus group participants (not restricted to hotel

In response to: "Protecting marine resources is essential to the continued and future well
being of the USVI economy? "

100 percent of respondents assigned "3" or higher on a scale of 1-5 where "1" is "Strongly
agree", with 88.6 percent of respondents actually selecting "Strongly agree".

6. 8 Other Values

The USVI marine environment provides a number of other use and non-use values not
addressed earlier. These include: potential pharmaceutical bioprospecting; aquaculture;
access for shipping/commerce; small-scale souvenir manufacturing; educational and social
values; research value; ecosystem and habitat value; contribution to biological diversity and
preservation of genetic resources; protection of coastline; added value to properties on the

Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands 48

coast or located nearby. Option value, bequest value, and existence value are other non-use
values introduced in Section 6-1.

Unfortunately, no USVI specific studies or information are available to document the
associated monetary values, other than that captured in the Section 6.7, "Tourism Activity".
Although a number of valuation studies related to these types of uses and activities have
been undertaken elsewhere (see Gustavson, 2000), further analysis is beyond the scope of
this study.

Additional indications of the value of USVI marine resources are found in the following
responses to survey questions asked of all participants at community briefings:

In response to: "I am concerned about maintaining the USVI's unique marine resourcesfor
my children and/or future generations to use and enjoy? "

100 percent of respondents either "Strongly agreed" (94.3 percent) or "Agreed" (5.7

In response to: "Management of USVI marine areas should balance economic,
environmental, and preservation interests?"

More than 80 percent of respondents assigned "3" or better on a scale of 1-5, where "1"
"Strongly agree"; 60 percent selected "Strongly agree".

The following responses are from real estate industry participants:

In response to: "How would you rate the importance of marine resources/uses (such as
clean waters, access to beaches, boating, fishing, and diving access, and/or vi\,, ,i\ 1 'e/hlii,
among others) to home sales in the USVI? 100 percent responded "Very significant".

In response to: "How would you rate, in level of importance, the following amenities to
homebuyers (1 being the highest priority)? Access to: beach, beachfront views, shopping,
schools, or transportation? Access to beaches and beachfront views rated the highest.

In response to: "What impact does the proximity to beaches/coast have on the price of real
estate (compared i/ h similar properties not on or very close to the beach/water)? "
100 percent responded 60%, which was the highest impact listed.

In response to: "If the c(Itti /'beL /h.' and waters were degraded (oil spill, etc.) Or fisheries
and/or coral reefs declined, what impact would this have on beach front property values?"
100 percent responded "Very significant".

A Table summarizing stakeholder response appears in Appendix V.

Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands 49

7.0 Resource Use Conflicts

The goals of the USVI Coastal Zone Management Program outline a program that would,
with adequate resources, be uniquely qualified to facilitate and resolve resource use
conflicts. Of the eleven goals set forth in the VI Coastal Zone Management Act (CZM Act),
Section 903(b), some are specific and state, in part:
* Assure the orderly, balanced utilization and conservation of the resources of the coastal
zone, taking into account the social and economic needs ....
Preserve what has been tradition and protect what has become a right of the public....
Promote and provide affordable and diverse public recreational opportunities... public
access to and along the shorelines consistent with the protected rights of property

The Division of Coastal Zone Management has been charged with "Managing Our Coastal
Resources for the Future". In the preparatory phase of a comprehensive socio-economic
assessment, the CZM Division's resource needs for achieving one or all of the stated goals
could be addressed by selecting a parameter (such as 'Organizations and Governance') and
subparameters ('Administrative structure, Management efforts'). (See Bunce, et al., 2000, for
description of phases, steps, and options in the assessment process.)

7.1 Description of Historic and Current User Group and
Use Conflicts

In all of the reviewed reports there were references made to user and use conflicts. Conflicts
cited in the literature either continue to exist or are perceived by stakeholders to be
continuing conflicts. No instances were found in which user or use conflicts were reported to
have been resolved. Some of the conflicts identified in the literature and by participants in
the MPA meetings include:
* Private property rights versus traditional access by the public;
* Compelling environmental needs versus questionable economic opportunity;
* Public policy, and rules and regulations versus uses desired by stakeholders;
* Desire for a balance between a pristine environment versus the built environment;
* Competing needs of divers, boaters, and fishers;
* Recreational versus commercial needs.

There are actual, perceived, and potential jurisdictional conflicts between the local and
federal governments, e.g., President Clinton's designation in 2000 of new U.S. Virgin
Islands national monuments. There are authority and control conflicts between local
government agencies, and gaps in enforcement and management efforts of a number of

The literature and the comments by stakeholders throughout the process suggest that the
USVI has not suffered so much for want of studies or workable recommendations to resolve
these conflicts, but only, perhaps, from the absence of the political will to follow through
with them. The major difference in the recommendations made over the years has been the
decade in which they were offered.

Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

The conflicts identified in the literature and by the stakeholders are presented in five (5)
categories. Where information on a conflict is available from previous studies, it is included.
Stakeholder characterizations of the conflicts are consistent with those cited in other areas
with coastal tourism, e.g., UNEP (1997), Cesar (2001), and Salm (2000). Given the sensitive
nature of some of the conflicts and the confrontational nature of initial meetings at which the
Department of Planning and Natural Resources announced the MPA project, it is
encouraging to note that stakeholders in the recent process were both calm and articulate in
addressing the conflicts and making suggestions. The recommendations listed in the matrix
that appears at the end of this section are indicative of the stakeholders' understanding of the
issues that impact successful MPA management.

CONFLICT 1: Public Policy, Rules and Regulations versus User Groups

Under this category, it continues to be the case, or the perception, that a) policies, rules, and
regulations developed without input of stakeholders are harmful, and b) that some policies
and rules are enforced selectively. There was agreement that there are some good laws and
policies, many of which are not enforced because of inadequate resources in Government.
Participants also mentioned that non-point source pollution and pressures from human use
and upland development have become more serious and need to be mitigated through
stronger policy and enforcement. This is addressed in some detail in Section 8.2.

One long-standing area of conflict between public policy and user groups is that of
traditional ways and activities. In the literature and in the recent stakeholder process, it is
evident that this particular conflict has diminished little over time.

Closed Areas

From the onset of closed or restricted areas (commonly referred to as "closures", or
"closure" in the USVI), various user groups have felt shut out from the decision-making
process, and are frustrated and upset by denial of access to traditional uses and places. More
than 20 years ago, a socio-economic assessment of recreational boating and fishing (Olsen,
1979) identified public attitudes that conflicted with public policy.

The 1996 Caribbean Fisheries Management Council (CFMC) Regulatory Impact Review
concerning the Red Hind spawning aggregation closures noted the following three of six
The closure area for red hind established in 1993 is too large and puts an
unnecessary burden on commercial fishers;
There are conflicts among the users of the resource, especially between
commercial and recreational fishers;
The size of the recreational fishery is unknown.

In the current MPA process, residents shared their perception that Government initially takes
action, then lacks the resources to properly follow through on policy, rules, and regulations.
They point to the following as evidence that the "Government acts, but lacks":
Enforcement of good laws and policies is lacking;
Government pollution control efforts are inadequate;

Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands 51

Federal and local government collaborative efforts are lacking or ineffective;
Government efforts to solve marine resource conflicts are inadequate.

Pressure on Traditional Uses, Dislocation, and Relocation

A VI Resource Cooperative report on the socio-cultural role of fishing in the St. John
biosphere reserve written by Koester in 1986 presented fishers' viewpoints on "Infringement
on traditional ways":
Do residents have the right to continue to use their environment in their
traditional ways a right that has been breached by Government restrictions?
Why ban our traditional methods, e.g. large seine nets and gill nets, and allow
"tourism techniques", e.g., flippers, spear guns? We get fined if we tie up near
our homes because now leaving a boat unattended for more than 24 hours is okay
for visiting yachts, but what about those who live there and anchor near home?
Disallowing livestock to graze in the Park is traditionally part of the rural
Caribbean lifestyle;
"I feel the same way the Indians felt", was how one fisherman expressed the
cumulative effect of regulations and the other changes that have disrupted St.
John's fishing tradition. Several fishermen explained that regulations are
"...fooling around with the native culture of fishing and will probably wipe the
whole thing out." Koester notes that at the time of that statement there were an
estimated 30 fishermen on St. John. For these men, fishing is more than a
contribution to their economic strategies or a pleasure to be enjoyed: it is an
essential element of their culture, their history, and their own identity. They
suggested that the NPS should be responsive and work with/explain things to
residents-not just enforce the don'tts' but explain the "do's". (Koester, 1986).

In addressing the relocation/dislocation issue, the CFMC reported that:

"The possible relocation (temporary or permanent) to reduce fishing has potential
consequences that are not related to the total fish catch. A "second-best" fishing
strategy may simply relocate effort to other spawning aggregations.., a portion of the
potential benefits from the closures will be lost due to "damage" to these other
concentrations of redhind spawners. In general, marine conservation districts (MCD)
may lead to crowding less catch per unit effort and degradation of the habitat areas
outside the MCD... Relocation and dislocation may affect charter boat and
recreational activities as well as commercial. Further, the opportunity costs
associated with MCD related displacement of fishermen from preferred fishing
grounds is thought to be relatively small. (CFMC, 1999).

In the MPA stakeholder process the participants touched on many of the same conflicts
between public policy and user group issues that have re-appeared in study after study.
Stakeholders often noted that there were major conflicts related to user and/or use relocation
or dislocation, including interruption of traditional activity. Perceptions and concerns on
"relocation or dislocation" conflict were stated:

The same Government (federal) that bans turtles, whelks, and fish goes and
bombs those same turtles and fish when they get to Vieques;

Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands 52

Enforcement has never been fair and equitable: "Who will decide who gets to tie
up where?"
There's no consensus on traditional uses: "What timeframe defines 'traditional'?"
and, "Are traditional uses sustainable with today's population load?"
"Why doesn't Government work on restoring the deteriorated areas instead of
taking away our good areas?"
"Where national monuments end and MPA begin what's left for us to enjoy?"
Government needs to think about: "If you close one area, aren't you creating an
overuse problem for another area like over-fishing, too much snorkeling,
crowded beaches?"
"Are you planning to include substitute sites for what gets taken away?"

CONFLICT 2: Inter/ Intra Governmental Conflicts

Stakeholders perceived a number of conflicts between the local and federal Governments,
and between agencies of local government. Among the "Ownership/Authority" conflicts
mentioned by stakeholders are:

The U.S. Department of Commerce, and the USVI government have jurisdiction
over submerged lands and coral reefs within the USVI some boundaries and
submerged lands are points of contention;
Local government agencies do not archive information on any level and are
unlikely to share documents, planning, or decision-making which creates
conflicting information for the public;
Federal agencies and some universities have conducted studies but have not
returned information or benefit from those studies to the Territory;
No one communicates clearly with the stakeholders on issues and concerns of
federal and local jurisdiction, restrictions, conflicting rules and regulations.

CONFLICT 3: Commercial Fishers versus Other User groups

As early as 1979, it was reported that there is inherent and actual competition for resource
yield potentials between recreational and commercial fisherman (Olsen, 1979).

The VI Marine Resource Cooperative Report No. 12 (Koester, 1986) reported that:

Boat propellers cut and drag float lines and cause loss of fish pots;
Tourists swimming into pools of fish while wearing suntan oil is another
reason baitfish have become scarce;
Conflict noted between fishers and tourism/new fishing technologies -
especially flippers, spear guns, and diving tanks. Fishers held perception
that some kind of pollution caused the disappearance of sea urchins in the
first 4 months of 1984;
Commercial fishers' practices lead to over-fishing.

Socio-Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands 53

CONFLICT 4: Non-extractive User Groups and Coral Reef Health

The health of the marine resource is important to groups such as swimmers, fishers, tourism
businesses, yet related uses could prove to be detrimental to that resource:

Diving, snorkeling, other watersports, may begin to stress the health of the reef;
Near coast to ridgetop activities by developers are stressing marine health:
Impact of existing and planned marinas, docks, etc., may conflict with
requirements for life cycle protection of marine species.

CONFLICT 5: Jet skis versus Fishers and Swimmers

There is little question that jet skis are strongly disliked. Jet skis were not spoken of in a
positive light in any of the meetings or on the surveys. Stakeholders' comments on jetskis
included the following:

Jet skis kill turtles, chase [disturb] fish, and spoil the atmosphere of the seaside;
Swimmers are put at risk by jet skis; jet-skiers should have their own (one)
beach designated forjet skis;
Jet ski noise, pollution, and safety risks are unacceptable activity anywhere
in our waters.

Table 7-1, a three-page matrix, portrays stakeholder characterization of conflicts and
recommendations as recorded in the community briefings and focus groups. The
characterizations and recommendations are stated in the words of the stakeholders with
minor edits for clarity.

54 Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Table 7-1 Matrix of User Group Conflicts and Recommendations
1. Public Policy, A. User groups are 1) Use "plain English" and standard success factors to determine if goals are being met and are
Rules and locked out from policy effective.
Regulations development and 2) Use MPA management to control fishing techniques and "our predatory" ways.
versus User decision making 3) Improve decisions and policies by collecting recreational fishing numbers and expand the fish
count data.
Groups processes. count data.

B. Policies infringe on, or 1) Conduct research on fishing methods, impact of suntan oils/repellants.
don't reflect an 2) Involve the user groups in monitoring and enforcement tasks and jobs.
understanding of or 3) Determine if fish farming could complement traditional commercial fishing.
respect for traditional
ways or activities.

C. Policies don't consider 1) Systematically gather baseline information re: commercial fishing, e.g., actual expenses,
long-term well-being who buys what from fishers, where/why they buy; who doesn't and why they don't;
of users. complete a market study and develop better marketing; work with stores and restaurants to
increase sales.
2) In public policy planning, explicitly link [consider] job creation, set asides, preferential
treatment to any temporary or permanent closures.
3) Use mariculture only if designed to be sustainable, i.e., locally co-owned, using local species.
4) As a matter of policy, link jobs creation, "set asides", preferential treatment for fishers for
new jobs created by MPA management (enforcement, monitoring, guides, etc).

2. Inter/Intra A. Federal and local 1) The National Park Service and enforcement staff should answer questions, use visuals, and
Governmental governments do not good communication with residents and visitors alike.
Conflicts communicate their 2) At all levels, Government should make every effort to win user groups' trust.
roles clearly to the 3) Go out to the people "where they are" and publicize the goals of MPA management and report
public. regularly on the progress being made.

B. BVI-USVI license 1) Get proper body (Legislature, Governor's Office or Federal Government) to resolve the
issue persists, fishing license reciprocity issue between the BVI and USVI.

C. Agencies' rules 1) Structure the MPA system framework to harmonize the multiple managers, agencies, rules, and
conflict. regulations that govern marine resources.

55 Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Table 7 -1 cont'd
3. Commercial A. Fishers have no voice 1) Create fishers' Liaison Office with expertise and authority to broker fishers' needs.
Fishers versus in issues that concern 2) Compile existing scientific data, prioritize current research needs, and establish long-term
Other User them. research/monitoring scientific projects, and correlate all data with survey data from
Groups stakeholders with special focus on fishermen's input.
B. Restrictions are not 1) No Take, No Mooring, No Anchor zones must be equitable and consistent.
orc fair 2) No Take zone must be accompanied by No mooring, No anchors zones, with consistent
enforced fairly. enforcement.

C. Practices that hurt 1) Gill nets take too many fish and should be banned.
stock must not be 2) Establish areas where commercial fishing has priority.
4. Non-extractive A. Divers, snorklers, 1) Invite and encourage scientific research to increase the understanding of reef health.
User-groups other watersports
and may begin to stress
Coral Reef the reef's health.
B. Near coast to ridgetop 1
B. Near coast to ridgetop 1) Community and in-school education to specifically include real estate, construction, and
activities are stressing tourism interests.

the health of the reef. 2) Develop and enact a sound Comprehensive Land and Water Use Plan.

C. The impact of existing 1) Invite and encourage scientific research to increase the understanding of species'
and planned marinas, requirements at each phase of the life cycle and use that information to support
docks, etc., may environmental remediation where necessary.
conflict with 2) Plan to meet the need for technical and financial assistance to retrofit marinas and docks.
requirements for life
cycle protection of
marine species.

D. People don't know 1) Develop "Good examples-bad examples" of what to do in the MPA, and promote with reader-
D. People don't know .
w t a friendly, culturally competent materials.
ow their acti 2) Target the Youth: Increase learn-to-swim programs and marine education that is culturally
negatively impact competent and widely accessible.
the coral reef.

56 Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Table 7-1 cont'd
5. Jet skis versus A. No good words for 1) Ban Jet Skis altogether or restrict area where there is no conflicting activity.
Fishers/Swimmers Jet skis or jet skiers.

6. General:
Other Comments

A. Facilitate conflict
resolution between
user groups.

B. Build awareness and
capability at the
community level.

C. Gather new data to
create useful
information that
understanding of
MPA impact.

1) Build skills for/facilitate opportunities for conflict resolution in small group settings.
2) Formally acknowledge long-standing and current conflicts between user groups.
3) Facilitate user groups' skill-building in conflict resolution.
4) Hold facilitated sessions to work out the issues and try to create a shared agenda.

1) Commit to leadership training for community-based groups.
2) Takes steps to ensure the sustainability of the process.
3) Develop and implement an "Awareness Hour" presentation to take to different user groups.
4) Re-visit the terminology used in the MPA process, e.g., add "food security", "valuable
resource", and "resource abuse".

1) Develop the capability to objectively analyze and publicize the economic benefits of
marine resource excellence for fishers, property values, tourism, jobs creation, sites
for film-video-ads location, etc.

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

7.2 Use Conflicts

7. 2.1 Boating versus the Natural Environment

In the earliest reports reviewed for the MPA Project, there are cautions concerning the extent of
boating activity and the health of the natural environment. Damages caused by boating, e.g., oil
slicks, anchor damage, turbidity, or disturbance of roosting and nesting site, are described. It is
the beauty and serenity of the natural environment that draw the recreational boater, and the
potential for good fishing that draws both the commercial and recreational fishers. Since one of
the ways to enjoy the natural marine beauty is from a boat, the level of boat traffic can pose a
direct conflict to maintaining the very beauty and abundance that attract the users.

In the VI Marine Resource Cooperative Report on the socio-economic and cultural role of
fishing, conflicts between boats and the natural environment were observed to begin around
1946 when "engines began to replace sails and tourist boat traffic increased". Koester (1986).
The report further characterizes the conflict by citing:

Observations by National Park staff and others indicated that Windswept Reef and
Hawk Nest (Hawksnest) patch reefs suffered severe damage from boats striking or
running aground on the reefs. An increase in the number of snorkelers is also resulting
in more damage to coral colonies;
Chronic turbidity from excessive boat traffic;
Anchor damage survey January-March 1987 showed damage ranged from "negligible"
to "severe";
Fishers cited the steady increase in shipping, ferry traffic, and pleasure boats as the
explanation for the sharp decrease in baitfish (frys and sprats), red tail, and stoplight
parrotfish. Baitfish started to move away in 1946 when engines began to replace sails
and tourist boat traffic increased.

An assessment of, and policy on, the carrying capacity of marine areas would be useful in
making the determination of actual vis-a-vis perceived use conflicts, and in arriving at solutions
for the actual conflicts.

7.2.2 Built Environment versus the Natural Environment

An IRF report described the use of the coast, until the mid 1900s, as limited to use by residents
to launch boats for passage to other places, to market their product and wares, or to catch fish.
There were marine businesses but no agricultural activity near-shore, and mangroves and salt
ponds were rarely disturbed except to extract salt. (IRF (3), 1993).

The Mangrove Lagoon and Benner Bay (MLBB) Analytic Study (IRF (3), 1993) reported that
escape from urban blight and the discovery of "America's Paradise" for second homes,
vacation rentals, and, ultimately, for primary residences became the norm and changed the
traditional coastal use pattern significantly during the mid-1900s. Examples of conflicts

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

between the built environment and the natural environment cited in the analytic study for
MLBB, St. Thomas, include:

The 1968 filling-in of a mangrove-vegetated delta to build the racetrack the effect was
to re-route all the drainage entering from Turpentine Run into a single channel and
reduce the cleansing action of the tributaries, leading to a greater influx of sediment and
pollutants into the lagoon;
The siting of the landfill on or near major aquifers with no consideration of watersheds;
The leaching into the ground of waste oil, hospital wastes, lubricants, batteries, tires,
household chemicals at the Bovoni landfill;
The conflict between commercial development of the bay and lagoon.

Regardless of the source, pollution from activity and construction within the watershed directly
affects the health and productivity of a reef.

Commercial marine-related industries generally argue that the numerous other commercial,
public sector, and residential ventures in the watershed are the primary reason for
environmental degradation, while many residents and politicians blame declining water quality
on the marine industry (IRF (3), 1993).

The draft Management Plans for three APCs (Areas of Particular Concern) completed in 2001
identify in great detail the conflicts between the built and natural environments:

A two-tier coastal zone system offers inadequate guidance for construction and
development on islands of decidedly limited land mass;
The lack of a comprehensive land and water use plan contributes to uncontrolled, high-
density residential development, commercial construction that does not follow
appropriate erosion control measures, irrational siting of structures (e.g. Cancryn School
constructed in a floodplain on the St. Thomas waterfront);
Deficiencies in public policy, e.g., incentives for conservation easements, appropriate
setbacks, extraction fees, enforcement, and penalties for building code violations;
Issues of visual and physical access, and noise pollution;
Improper design and construction of roads and driveways creating serious water
quality problems;
Disregard of 30 years of national experience of public policies related to carrying
capacity, development extraction fees, maximum limits of growth, noise ordinances,

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

7.2.3 Private Property Rights, Public Access, and Natural Resource

The USVI was one of two jurisdictions to apply the doctrine of "customary rights" and to have
it upheld on appeal by the Courts (USVI vs. St. Thomas Beach Resorts Inc., District Court of
the VI 1974). According to participants in the stakeholder process, conflict between "traditional
access" and rights of property owners has not been resolved, and the existence of "gated
communities" or hotels and condominiums that bar access in practice, if not in theory, remains
a sore spot for many locals and others who take offense at having to make their way through
narrow, unkempt paths where they once walked freely to the shore. There are also issues of
visual access.

The VI Marine Advisory Service under the federally-funded Sea Grant Program conducted the
1987 workshop "Public Access to the Virgin Islands Shoreline". According to the Workshop
Proceedings (Peters, 1986), the workshop was organized in response to changes in shoreline
access. Population growth coupled with the development of hotels, resorts, and private homes
on the coast led to a decrease in areas for public recreation along the coast. Among the issues
addressed were the following:

Shoreline property owners' increasing reluctance to permit access to "their beaches" by
a public that has traditionally used those sites;
The trend of "declining access", the then emerging trend in regions dependent on tourist
dollars to sell their shorelines in the quest for economic progress;
Denial of public access to legally, or illegally, filled submerged lands said to have been
"given" by the government to private developers, e.g., pond at Cabrita Point on St.
Thomas, and for property in Estate Judith's Fancy on St. Croix.

In a presentation on the issue of public access to the shoreline, then Sen. Virdin Brown made
reference to the testimony of residents in public hearings, stating,

"Several individuals testified that they were made to feel, or had the feeling,
and in some instances were made to feel, that they were not really welcome.
This is a psychological factor that comes into play as to whether or not we
feel free, and whether or not beach access is fully exercised in the freest and
truest sense of the word. To break that psychological barrier is to know that
we have free beaches." (Peters, 1987).

The Sea Grant Workshop proceedings presented a definitive set of recommendations, but it was
beyond the scope of this Report to ascertain whether or not those recommendations have been
enacted, to what extent, and with what impact. Experiences shared by participants in the
stakeholder meetings suggest that this type of conflict continues to exist.

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Racial undercurrents of a present-day access conflict

Undercurrents of perceived or actual racism and discrimination are not far below the surface in
the USVI according to Erac-isms9, a community-based NGO that offers information, training,
and services to address racism and other forms of discrimination. In an effort to diffuse conflict
surrounding a racially-charged incident, Erace-ism members explain the dynamics that can
distort the event, e.g., it is not unusual for an incident to be filtered through the lens of
suspicion as it is discussed within the group that perceives itself to have been harmed by that
incident. The St. Croix community briefing brought one such undercurrent to the surface.

At the St. Croix community briefing, a number of participants registered their concern that the
unannounced placement of large boulders blocking four customary access roads to the shore on
East End created resentment, raising issues about denial of livelihood and culture. A number of
fishers and other participants in the briefing spoke of their perception that they were being
denied access for traditional use of East End beach access by those who have only recently
come to live in the USVI, or those who resent the presence of "locals" in that area of the Island.
In short, the perception was voiced that East End residents (read that "rich
Continentals/Whites") are systematically blocking locals' access. It would be a mistake to
dismiss this issue as a tempest in a teacup. The agency of government or individuals
responsible for blockage of these access roads would do well to answer reasonable questions
about why this occurred, who did it, and whether it is temporary or permanent.

9 ERACE-isms is a St. Croix-based NGO whose services include diversity training and conflict
resolution, funded by the World Council of Churches since 1998. The author of this Report has
developed and conducted anti-racism training since 1981, is a founding member of Erace -isms, and
finds this view to be consistent with general practice and the literature on this subject. Readers may
refer to EMBRACE (February 1998); Valerie Batts, Ph.D.,"Modem Racism: New Melody For the
Same Old Tunes" (1989); or McIntosh, P., "White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account",
(Wellesley College Center for Research on Women, No 189, (1988)

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

7.2.4 Tourism versus the Natural Environment

There is an extensive body of literature and conference proceedings on the negative impact of
tourism on Caribbean environments. Regional conferences such as the Sustainable Alternatives
for Tropical Islands States, sponsored in part by the Commonwealth Science Council, and the
annual Miami Conference on Latin America and the Caribbean, have examined the tourism-
related stresses, threats, and successful responses. The works of Salm and Clark, Dixon, Bunce
and the UNEP report referenced for this Report address a broad range of issues and responses
to tourism use and the natural environment.

In the USVI, reports on visitor-related damages within the VI National Park (St. John) and
Buck Island National Monument (St. Croix) support the contention that, in many instances,
human intrusion is in conflict with the natural environment.

In 1973 and 1976, Robinson drew attention to the environmental damage associated with
recreation in the VI National Park in the 1970s prior to the dramatic increase in visitation. In
1986, a VI Marine Resource Cooperative report stated that throughout the Caribbean, tourism
and coastal development were exerting severe pressure on the natural resources of many islands
and countries, and that:

Fishers expressed the perception that tourism pushed commercial fishing; refrigeration
encouraged folks to catch more than they could use in a short time;
Fishers expressed the perception that tourists swimming into pools of fish while
wearing suntan oil is another reason baitfish have become scarce;
There is a trend of "declining access", as well as an emerging trend in regions
dependent on tourist dollars to sell shoreline in the quest for economic progress.

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

7.3 Examples of Use and User Group Conflicts in the APCs

Three examples of Use Conflict, one per island, are taken from the comprehensive analytic
studies for the APCs completed by IRF in 1993. The use conflicts in the APCs mirror the
conflicts cited throughout this Chapter, but are, perhaps, more visible because multiple
conflicts are represented within a small, defined area.

Christiansted Waterfront Boardwalk Extension, St. Croix

Three of the four User Group Conflicts, and all Use Conflicts noted in Chapter 7 occur in a
previous APC, including pressure on traditional use by fishers; federal vs. local government
conflict; built environment versus natural environment; boating versus natural environment. An
excerpt from the "Christiansted Waterfront APC Analytic Study", IRF (1) (1993), reads:

"The boardwalk extension to Gallows Bay is envisioned as a means to facilitate
pedestrian movement into Christiansted town and is, in the minds of many, central to
economic revitalization plans. This part of the harbor is the site of traditional fishing
activities, including fish marketing, boat repair, and boat mooring. Without proper
planning and meaningful community input, the new boardwalk could conflict with the
fishing community.

"Additionally, if the boardwalk is to include the northern boundary of the Christiansted
Historic Site, then it will need to have National Park Service approval since, in the 1972
Agreement, Article IV, paragraph 2, the Government of the Virgin Islands agreed to
'control incompatible uses of the surrounding wharf and to prevent construction of a
roadway or other intrusive devices on the harbor side of the historic site'.

"The mini-cruise ship and large cargo vessels, which use the VI Port Authority dock,
stir up large amounts of silt when they run their engines while at dock. Over a period
of 3-4 years this caused a build up of silt under the travel lift at St. Croix Marina and
decreased the draft size of vessels that the marina was able to accommodate." IRF (1)

Coral Bay APC, St. John

Of the four User Group Conflicts, and two of the three Use Conflicts noted in Chapter 7 are
seen in the abovementioned, earlier APC, including user conflict with policy, rules, and
regulations, built environment versus natural environment, and boating versus natural
environment. An excerpt from the "Coral Bay APC Analytic Study" reads:

"Some residents believe that, especially within the inner Harbor area, degraded water
quality presently precludes swimming or other water contact sports...water pollutants
include several land-based sources of sediments, nutrients, and sewage from on-site

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

septic system failures and marine-based vessel waste discharge. Related to the water
quality, is the perception among some local residents that there are too many boats -
either transient or permanently moored in Coral Bay. A growing polarization seems to
be taking place between those involved in or in support of the boating community and
others who feel that perhaps the boating community is largely responsible for the
observable degraded water quality." (IRF (2), 1993)

Mangrove Lagoon and Benner Bay APC, St. Thomas

One of the four User Group Conflicts, and one of the three Use Conflicts noted in this Chapter
are also evident in the earlier APC, including pressure on traditional uses, public access, built
environment versus natural environment. An excerpt from the "Mangrove Lagoon and Benner
Bay APC Analytic Study" states:

"Public access to the shoreline is guaranteed under the [V.I.] Open Shoreline Act, e.g.,
curtailment of public access at Mangrove Lagoon and Benner Bay by commercial and
private development structures, walls, fencing, and guard dogs blocking traditional
footpaths. (IRF (3), 1993)

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

7.4 Initiatives to Reduce Conflict

There are current MPAs and conservation management capacities that can reduce some of the
negative impacts from over-fishing, anchor damage, and other causes. The Rogers 2001 report
describes local MPAs and monitoring/conservation management capacity represented by:
Hind Bank Conservation District (St.Thomas)
Buck Island Reef National Monument (St. Croix)
VI National Park (St. John)
Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve (St. Croix)
VI government-designated Marine Reserves and Wildlife Sanctuaries at Salt River,
Cas Cay, Mangrove Lagoon, and St. James Island.

The designation of National Monuments, the International Coral Reef Initiatives, and the
creation of Marine Conservation Districts have brought attention and both financial and
technical resources to improve understanding and management of coral communities.
Monitoring and reporting activities, and greater visibility of reef protection activities, should
benefit the efforts to identify and resolve conflicts.

There is a non point source pollution management plan prepared by the Department of Planning
and Natural Resources, which could, if adequately funded, devote consistent attention to
resolving conflicts over time.

There were few initiatives cited in the literature, such as the community briefings or focus
groups, that are resolving the conflicts noted in Sections 7.1 7.2.4. Stakeholders felt that with
adequate resources, the Department of Planning and Natural Resources and environmental
groups could work in partnership to resolve existing and future conflicts. They also offered
recommendations that they felt would help to alleviate some of these conflicts, some of which
appear in Appendix V.

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

8.0 Stresses and Threats: Current and Emerging

Damage to marine habitats occurs from natural processes such as hurricanes and disease
outbreaks. In addition to the nature-based stresses and threats, there are negative impacts of
human activities, including development and construction, ships and boats running aground,
trash, and sewage discharges. These human activities can produce source and nonpoint source
pollution. Man-made and natural causes can lead to degradation of reef habitats. The loss of
coral reef habitats directly affects a wide range of organisms including fisheries of considerable
commercial and recreational significance (Caribbean Fisheries Management Council, 1999).

8.1 Natural Stresses

The recent report, Status of Coral Reefs in the US Virgin Islands (Rogers, et al., 2000), offers
detailed information on the full range of coral health and threats and is cited extensively as the
source of information and authorities used throughout this Chapter.

8.1.1 Storms/Hurricanes

Reefs are fragile but can show resilience to the ravages of storms and hurricanes. Eight
hurricanes have affected the USVI in the last twenty years with the last five producing
extensive, major destruction on all four inhabited islands. The extent of damages from
hurricanes is described in Rogers ,et al., (2000):

"The impact of Hurricane David...left ramparts of dead Elkhorn, some rising above sea
level, replaced flourishing reef crests in Fish Bay and Reef Bay, St. John (Beets, 1986),
living coral cover declined on reefs off St. Thomas (Rogers, et al., 1983). Reefs at BUIS
[Buck Islands National Monument] and off the south shore of St Croix suffered damage
from David [1979] and Hugo [1989]; hard corals shattered, soft corals/gorgonians were
uprooted, and coastal sand deposits were redistributed with Hurricane Hugo. Reef crests
off the south of the island was (sic) moved 30 meters landward (Hubbard, et al., 1991).
In some shallow zones at Buck Island, Acropora palmata cover already reduced from
85% to 5% by White Band disease fell to .08% (Gladfelder, 1991).

"Over 40 hermatypic coral species are found on the reefs in the USVI although some
species are less abundant than in the past primarily because of mortality from storms
and diseases. According to Bythell, et al. (1993), M. annularis, the dominant species of
three common coral, suffered greater mortality from chronic factors such as predation
and tissue necrosis than from hurricanes. Brain coral, D. strigosa, suffered more tissue
loss from the storm than from chronic factors, while Porites astreoides had substantial
mortality from all factors (Bythell, et al., 1993)."

As a matter of course, ecosystems experience, and recover, from most natural impacts of
windstorms and hurricanes. USVI disaster preparedness has improved significantly in the
decade since Hurricane Hugo, but the improvements were not enough to mitigate many

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

anthropogenic impacts, e.g., the flow of raw sewage, septic tank run-off, contaminants from
industrial areas, and sediment carried to the sea after hurricanes Marilyn [1995], Bertha [1996],
and Lenny [1999]. The reefs were challenged to fend off the negative impact of that sewage
and runoff, the debris from sunken and broken boats and marinas, oil spills, and garbage that
was dumped or blown into the sea.

In the USVI, hurricanes also impact the number of individuals involved in fishing. The
Division of Fish and Wildlife "3-Year Summary Report (2000)" looked at the number of
individuals involved in fishing post-hurricane and reported that the number of registered
fishermen which includes part-time fishermen fluctuates with the availability of work in the
private sector, and the occurrence of major storms. In the former instance, job availability in
construction, tourism, and industrial sector often lures the part-time fisher. All fishers suffer
gear loss as the result of severe storms, and the part-time fishers are more likely to move from
this secondary income source into post-hurricane construction jobs (Tobias, and Gomez, 2000).

8.1.2 Conditions of Natural Balance / Imbalance

Decreased herbivory by sea urchins and fishes is the suspected culprit in the failure of the
Lameshur Bay, St John, reef to show significant recovery ten years after Hugo decimated 40
percent of the living coral in 1989. It appears that the level of herbivory is too low to keep the
macroalgae in check, and that the algae are inhibiting settlement by coral recruits and growth
by existing colonies. The decreased herbivory may be the result of both the loss of the long
spined sea urchins, and the decrease in the number and size of herbivorous fish as a result of
over-fishing (Rogers, et al., 1997).

If it is the case that there is a relationship between sea turtle populations and seagrass health,
then MPA managers may need to resolve issues of overabundance of species as well as that of
declining species.

On a positive note, there is better understanding of how to support reef health and biodiversity
as evidenced by work completed on nearshore communities. A year 2001 study suggests that
habitat complexity, hydrodynamic effects on larval supply, and stable substrate may also
contribute to the increased abundance and species diversity of nearshore fish communities
(Mateo, et al., 2001).

8.1.3 Ciguatera

Consumption of fish containing the toxin Ciguatera causes what is commonly called "fish
poisoning". Fishermen have long indicated that the threat of Ciguatera affects both the
marketing of locally caught fish and the fishermen's own consumption habits.

The problem of Ciguatera inhibits full utilization of viable and otherwise acceptable resources
because of its sporadic and unpredictable nature (Sylvester, et al., 1977). In their attempt to
avoid tainted fish, fishers may stress or overfish those species that are not suspect.

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

8.1.4 White Band Disease and Other Coral Diseases

White Band Disease (WBD) and other diseases of coral reefs destroy or seriously compromise
the health of a reef system. According to the report on the status of USVI reefs by Rogers, coral
diseases caused extensive coral mortality on reefs off St. John in 1997. The branching
Acropora species, which are most vulnerable to storm damage, are also the most susceptible to
WBD. Shallow reefs on St. John and St. Croix, including Buck Island, suffered the ravages of
WBD when it swept through the Elkhorn stands on many Caribbean reefs in the late 1970s and
'80s. It appears that WBD killed large stands of Elkhom coral in the USVI between 1976 and
sometime after 1984. In July 1999, only six living A. Palmata colonies were found on the
Haulover Bay reef off St. John's north shore (Rogers, et al., 2000)

Plague Type II
Rogers also reports that, currently, the most severe disease observed on St. John reefs is caused
by a species of bacteria, Sphgamonas sp. No recovery of diseased portions has been noted on
the colonies in several bays around St. John. However, monthly surveys beginning in
December 1997 documented new incidents of disease (bare white patches of skeleton) every
month associated with the loss of living coral (US Geological Service). A dozen species are
exhibiting signs of disease on reefs in Newfound, Mennebeck, Haulover, Lameshur, and
several other bays (Rogers, et al., 2000).

8.1.5 Other diseases

Other diseases are discussed in "The Status of Coral Reefs in the USVI" (Rogers, et al., 2000):

The incidence of Black Band Disease (BBD) appears to be low; at Buck Island, BBD is
seen typically on fewer than ten colonies of Diploria each year;
Small patches of reef Poritesporites are now completely dead in many bays around
St. John, St. Thomas, and St. Croix, possibly from an [as yet] undetected disease
(Rogers 1999, Miller per. comm., B.Kojis per comm.);

Sea fan disease caused by the fungus Aspergillis syndowii occurs in sea fans on St. John reefs
(Rogers, et al. 2000, Garriet Smith per comm.) The pathogenic strain of the fungus has been
isolated from air samples taken from Sahara dust events, and links air quality directly to coral
reef health.

8.1.6 Bleaching
Bleaching of coral colonies is often associated with warmer water temperatures and has the
potential to cause the death of an entire coral colony, although it is rare for living corals to be
completely eliminated from a section of a reef (Salm, 2001). The most recent experiences in
USVI waters have been either partial mortality or complete recovery (Rogers, et. al., 2000).

Coral reef conservation strategies often identify areas that have good prospects for resisting
bleaching or recovering rapidly from it. Salm (2001) reports that:

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Patterns of bleaching-related mortality provide insights into the factors influencing
the differential responses of coral communities to bleaching which in turn provide
opportunities for us to select and design MPAs to give adequate protection to coral
communities shielded by these factors...we now recognize that climate-related
bleaching events pose a serious global threat to coral reefs and need to be addressed
by management and planning guidelines."

8.1.7. Earthquakes and Tsunamis

As a result of the convergence between the Caribbean and North American tectonic plates, the
USVI is located in one of the most earthquake-prone regions of the world. During the past 450
years, damage has occurred from earthquakes and associated tsunamis. Strong seismic shocks
were recorded for the USVI in 1777, 1843, 1867, and 1918. Scientists at the US Geological
Service report high seismic potential for a major rupture in the Puerto Rico trench north of
Puerto Rico and the USVI (USGS, 1984). The Territory is classified as "Zone 4" for
earthquake vulnerability, the highest damage zone (the same classification given to many parts
of California). (IRF (2), 1993).

St. Croix
St. Croix is situated on a different shelf platform than St Thomas and St. John and may not be
subject to the same seismic probabilities as her brother islands. However, tsunami impact on St.
Croix was experienced following earthquakes on St. Thomas and St. John in the past. The
waterfront in Christiansted is especially vulnerable to impacts from earthquakes due to
substantial construction on reclaimed land (IRF (2), 1993).

St. Thomas/St. John
Studies prepared in 1984 estimated that an earthquake of MMMVIII intensity (Modified
Mercalli Scale) has a recurrence period of between 110 and 200 years for the St Thomas-St.
John area. There is a 50-70 percent probability of such an earthquake occurring in the next
twenty years, and a 60-80 percent probability of such an occurrence within the next 50 years
(IRF (2), 1993).

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

8.2 Anthropogenic Sources of Stress

"Anthropogenic", or man-related, stresses on coral reefs not only directly compromise the
condition of the organisms that depend on them, but also undermine their ability to recover
from natural stresses. According to the Caribbean Fisheries Management Council, lack of
management of commercial and recreational fisheries can also impact the reef ecosystem by
disturbing the natural biological balance of interacting and co-dependent organisms. (CFMC,

In the report on the status of coral reefs, Rogers states that human-related damages may be
masked by natural causes such as sea swells, fire worms, fish damages, weakening of the coral
skeletons through action of boring bivalves, abrasion from vehicular water-traffic, deposition of
sediment particles, and the smashing and overturning of coral during heavy seas. Chronic coral
damage occurs in areas of high recreational use by snorkelers and divers (Rogers, et al., 2001).

The number two objective of the "1999 Fishery Management Plan for Coral and Reef-
Associated Plants and Invertebrates of Puerto Rico and the USVI" was:

"To minimize adverse human impacts on coral, live rock, seagrasses, reef-associated
plants and invertebrate resources by reducing fishing pressure, wasteful harvest
practices, and the anthropogenic stresses directly affecting them, and allowing for the
restoration of naturally-balanced reef systems." (CFMC, 1999).

Fishing practices (over-fishing, traps, anchors) are one of the many anthropogenic stresses, and
include extraction of groundwater, irrigation, solid waste disposal, contamination by hazardous
chemicals and waste oil, opening lagoon mouths, introduction of non-indigenous species (fish
or plants), sediments/nutrients, agricultural and industrial activities.

8.2.1 Degraded Water Quality
Water quality is degraded by inadequate treatment of sewage, stormwater runoff, leaching from
septic systems, runoff from livestock, and boats that discharge sewage. In addition to degrading
water quality from the standpoint of health and aesthetics, these pollutants are a major culprit in
mortality of coral reefs.

A major cause of mortality of corals and associated seagrass, and invertebrates is sedimentation
and pollution caused predominantly by land-based or near shore activities such as deforestation
and discharge of untreated sewage (Caribbean Fisheries Management Council, 1999).

Tobias (1998) reports that unregulated development of upland and coastal areas has resulted in
increased sedimentation rates and the introduction of pollutants has degraded the water quality
of coastal environs. Pollutants ranged from sewage to dissolved oxygen deficit linked to landfill
run-off at marinas, and residential sources (Tobias, 1998).

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

The listings of impaired waterbodies included in the Department of Planning and Natural
Resource water quality assessment reports show an increase in the number of impaired priority
areas between 1996 and 1998. The "2000 Water Quality Assessment" for the US Virgin Islands
(USVI DPNR, 2001) includes the "1996 Impaired Waterbodies List", which reports:

St. Thomas: two high priority, and one medium priority, segments
St. Croix: three medium priority areas
St. John: one medium priority area

The DPNR report continues that, by 1998, the impaired waterbodies list reflected:
St. Thomas: three high priority and two medium priority segments
St. Croix: three medium priority areas
St. John: one medium priority area

Lastly, the report reflects that the "2000 Impaired Waterbodies List" remains unchanged from
the 1998 listings. (USVI DPNR 2000)

Table 8-1 Rating of USVI Impaired Waterbodies
1996 1998 2000
high medium high medium high medium
St. Croix 0 3 0 1 0 1
St. John 0 1 0 1 0 1
St. Thomas 2 1 3 1 3 1
Source: Prepared from Division of Environmental Protection Year 2000 Water
Quality Assessment Report 303(d) Lists from 1996-2000.

In the 2000 303(d) Report the summary of "Fully, Partially and Non-Supporting Coastal
Waters" shows that 82.44 percent of coastal shoreline fully supports its designated use; 9.85
percent partially supports the use; 4.21 percent does not support the designated use. For 3.5
percent of the area there is too little data for assessment (Division of Environmental Protection,

The study shows no change in the Water Class of Use by island between the 1998 and 2000

St. Thomas: 0.0 miles of Class "A", 45.5 mi. Class "B", 7.3 mi. Class "C"
St. Croix: 2.5 miles of Class "A", 55.3 mi. Class "B", 12.5 mi. Class "C"
St. John: 1.0 mile of Class "A", 48.7 mi. Class "B", 0.0 mi. Class "C" waters
(Division of Environmental Protection, 2001).

8.2.2 Fishing and Reef Fish Stock Imbalance

It has been reported that the effects of over-fishing on reef community structure are not well
understood. That conclusion is distressing in view of the substantial evidence that over-fishing,

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

independent of harvesting levels, can also directly impact the overall integrity of the coral reef
structure. In the 75th Caribbean Fisheries Management Council (CFMC) meeting, the Scientific
and Statistical Committee recommended a minimum level of commercial stocks of fishes, not
to drop below the level at which interaction between reef fishes and substrate are altered in
some way (CFMC 1999).

The above-mentioned lack of understanding of effects of over-fishing on reef community
structure extends to effects on the condition of the reefs themselves (CFMC, 1999). Changes in
species composition from continuous, unregulated fishing have been documented, e.g., Nassau
Grouper spawning aggregations no longer occur in the southern part of the USVI. Various
studies have reported a marked decline in the fisheries resources in the USVI. Certain species
were over-harvested while others approached the limits of their resource potential. Unregulated
harvest resulted in the extinction of Nassau Grouper. According to CFMC, a 1992 assessment
of inshore fisheries resources showed increasingly declining trends, and concluded that the
steady decline cannot be attributed to over-fishing alone. CFMC (1999).

The "Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement" by CFMC includes a "Problem
Statement" that states:

Biomass of fishes increases with greater structural diversity of the substrate. Increased
fishing pressure on reef herbivores, such as parrotfish, may account for observed
increases in algal biomass, which, in turn, reduces living invertebrate cover. Reef
herbivores may reduce the abundance of certain competitively superior algae, thus
allowing coral and cementing corraline algae to survive. Community imbalances in
reef-associated organisms may result from large-scale reduction on (coral) cover or
structural heterogeneity of live coral or other substrate, or from over-fishing of certain
components of the commercial fishery." (CFMC, 1999).

Garrison, cited in CFMC (1999), reports some trends suggesting relatively large changes in
species composition and, indirectly, evidence of decreasing biodiversity in his 1997 study of
the St. John trap fishery. Six species accounted for more than 50 percent of the total catch,
representing a number far less than was reported in similar studies.

Stakeholder concern about introduction of non-native species is supported by a CFMC-cited
study of Blue Tangs, which concluded that, The dominance of blue tangs in this study may be
an example of a small, fast-growing species from the lower trophic level dominating catch as a
result of intense fishing pressure." (CFMC, 1999).

The literature review completed for this MPA project component identified only a few studies
and references on the problem of over-fishing. In the "Survey of Commercial Fishers'
Opinions" (Uwate, Tobias, et al., 2001), the most common issues/problems identified by all
respondents included over-fishing and pollution. Document review and stakeholder comments
suggest that the extent and impact of over-fishing throughout the USVI has not been fully
documented; that over-fishing and extraction of juvenile fish occurs, and has had a detrimental
effect on fish stocks. There is support for these opinions. Rogers states that for commercially

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

important species, decimation of spawning aggregations, decreases in average size of fishes,
and dramatic declines in their abundance all point to over-fishing as either the causative agent
or as a major contributing factor. Rogers, et al. (2001).

The Ocean Conservancy identifies overfishing as a significant threat to USVI marine
ecosystem and cautions that overfishing depletes important species that eat algae growing on
the coral that will otherwise overgrow and kill the coral. (Ocean Conservancy, 2003).

Lack of enforcement

Although there are size restrictions and seasonal closures on certain species in the USVI,
Rogers reports that closures are not enforced, and that several studies document the failure of
existing territorial regulations to protect reef fishes or to reverse declines in abundance of
preferred species. (Rogers, et al., 2002)

Fishing Methods/Impact on Species Life Cycles

Reef fish harvesting equipment, such as boats, motors, and gear, have become more
sophisticated and allow fishers to access more areas, set and retrieve more traps in a day, use
longer-lasting, less degradable traps and, consequently, leave a severe impact on many species
of reef fish (Rogers, 2001).

Commercial fishing methods indiscriminately catch juvenile species. Concentrated fishing
pressure at Altona Lagoon on St. Croix has resulted in extremely high fishing mortality of
juveniles and sub-adults (Tobias, undated).

8.2.3. Recreation-related Stresses and Threats

There is a growing recognition of the damage associated with increased recreational uses of
marine resources in the Caribbean, and a realization that the goals of, and benefits to be derived
from, tourism and resource protection are inherently interdependent.

There are numerous examples of severe localized damage to marine ecosystems attributable to
recreation: anchor damage from cruise ships and dive boats, boat groundings, people walking
on reef flats, removal of coral for souvenirs (Rogers, 1985).

A VI Marine Resource Cooperative report on recreational uses in the national park observed
that one consequence of the popularity of the VI National Park and Biosphere reserves on St.
John has been "degradation of the park's marine resource, particularly some of the coral reefs
and seagrass beds along the north shore of the island...anchor damage and damage from boats
striking or grounding on reefs is evident... seagrass beds in popular bays have deteriorated."
(Rogers, et al., 1988).

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Boating Activity

The stresses from boating can be mitigated, in part, by establishing and enforcing zones and
speed limits, and by diverting activity away from fish nesting areas. Problems experienced
from boating include:

Destruction from boat anchors and from boats running aground have ranged from a 283
meter3 section of reef destroyed by a cruise ship on St. John in 1988 (with no significant
recovery 10 years later) to an average of four boats a week running aground and
destroying coral, particularly Elkhom (prior to the installation of moorings); (Rogers,
Mclain, Zullo, 1988);
Occasional ship groundings of large commercial vessels and smaller recreational boats,
anchoring, and the deployment of fish traps on coral reef areas; (Rogers, Mclain, Zullo,
Damage from boat propellers which also often disturb and suspend silt;
Generation of wave energy by use of personal motor craft at high speeds in the
embayment that can accelerate shoreline erosion and adversely affect the behavior of
juvenile fishes (Tobias, 1998);
Entry of pathogens into the waters from discharge of sewage from boats, which can
cause disease and scarring in many species (Rogers, Mclain, Zullo, 1988).


The Peters report suggests that injuries to coral from snorkelers and divers and from adverse
environmental conditions, such as turbidity and sediment, could increase the frequency of
occurrence of diseases such as WBD (Peters, 1984).

A U.S. EPA "Fact Sheet" describes the way in which snorkelers and divers kick up sediment
that lands on the coral, blocks needed sunlight, thereby destroying living coral. Suntan oil used
by from swimmers and snorkelers can harm or even kill sensitive coral (U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency "Fact Sheet", undated).

Dixon suggests that even with good management practices, the presence of large numbers of
divers or snorkelers in the water is often damaging to coral reef systems (Dixon, Hamilton, et
al., 2001).


Public Service campaigns of conservation groups, Earth Day celebrations, and the Anti-Litter
and Beautification Commissions have long focused attention on the garbage problems that
plague many of the Territory's beaches. In the community briefings and focus groups,
stakeholders also complained that negative impacts from camping and picnicking during
residents' and visitors' treks back to nature" include improper disposal of trash, damage to
nearby trees and plant life, noise pollution, smoke, and waste oil pollution from generators,

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands


A United Nations Environmental Program report on coastal tourism impacts addresses the links
between a pristine environment and tourism, stating:

"The issues of overuse of resources, damage to natural resources
and ecosystems, increased conversion of coastal zone space to
more stressful uses, and increased social tensions, all create major
imbalances ...." (UNEP, 1997)

It is estimated that tourists generate as twice as much solid waste per capital as local residents, a
substantial amount of liquid waste, place a high demand on potable water energy, and spend
their time in tourism facilities that are, for the most part, built within 800 meters of the high
water mark in environmentally-sensitive areas. (Dixon, Hamilton, et al., 2001).

In the USVI, energy and potable water are produced from fossil fuels. A higher usage of water
and energy by tourists, coupled with traffic congestion, and the related emissions, constitute
environmental stresses. These stresses need to be understood and, therefore, warrant research
and analysis.

Landscaping for tourism facilities may obstruct views, and at times results in the introduction
of plant species that are not compatible with local conditions.

8. 2. 4 Habitat Degradation

Degradation of habitats salt ponds, mangroves, coral, and seagrass whether by natural
forces or anthropogenic influences, negatively impacts the marine resource. The concept of an
"ecosystem" makes it clear that loss or degradation of habitats is critical for the shelter and
nutritional needs of many birds and animals. These areas also serve as nurseries or home to
many including endangered species. Studies of mangroves have determined that these areas
are of principal importance to the marine resource health (IRF (2) 1993).

On St. Croix, immediate and long-term threats to the existing nursery habitats in Salt River and
Altona Lagoon include point source, and non-point source, pollution, coastal development,
permitted water-dependent and land-based recreational activities (Tobias, 1998).

In theory and in practice, "spot zoning" often permits a use and/or construction that does not
give adequate consideration to nearby environmentally sensitive areas. Coupled with the
absence of a comprehensive land and water use plan, spot zoning can be a contributor to habitat

According to Rogers, little is known about the interactions among reefs, mangroves, and
seagrass beds, and how deterioration of mangroves and seagrass beds contributes to the
degradation of coral reefs. Degradation of benthic habitats has undoubtedly contributed to the

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

significant changes in reef fish assemblages as gleaned from qualitative observations and
quantitative research. (Rogers, et al., 2001)

Habitat degradation can result from a variety of activities, including:

Upland development without proper sediment control measures resulting in
unintentional filling in or even loss of a pond;
Cutting or anchoring to mangroves damages or destroys mangroves which can
eliminate nature's filtering mechanism;
Extended camping and cookout activities have resulted in gradual destruction of
mangrove habitat. Particularly at Salt River on St. Croix, mangroves have been
cleared for campground areas and burned for firewood. (Tobias, 1998);
Dredging, sand extraction, groin construction, and sewage effluent have affected
reefs on St. Thomas and St. Croix (Goenaga and Boulon, 1992). A dredging
project on St. Croix in the early 1990s removed 122,000 cubic yards of bottom
material and destroyed approximately 5 acres of seagrass meadows (IRF (1),

Metals and the Marine Resource

The 1993 Christiansted APC Analytic Study addresses the impact of metals on the reefs:

"Metals such as mercury, lead, and copper, toxic organic chemicals (dioxin, PCBs)
pesticide, herbicides found in industrial and agricultural runoff and runoff from landfills
are extremely damaging to reefs. These toxic substances can cause scarring, death or
reproductive failure in fish, shellfish and other marine organisms- they can accumulate
in fish tissue leading to fish consumption advisories. In 1986, a study completed for the
Division of Environmental Protection reported elevated levels of copper, lead and
mercury in the marine sediments adjacent to the marina in Gallows Bay. That same
study reported that the amount of copper in Christiansted harbor was 343 times that of
copper found in Hawknest Bay (St. John) and the copper concentration exceeded US
Environmental Protection Agency allowable 24 hour average for protection of salt
water aquatic life ... Sediment taken from Gallows Bay in 1991 showed levels of
cadmium, copper, and lead greater than ER-L and mercury at the ER-L ("Effects Range
Level" is the concentration above which adverse effects may be observed or predicted
among sensitive life stages and/or species." (IRF (1), 1993)

Global Warming and Bleaching of Coral

Approximately 50 countries have reported coral bleaching since 1997 (CNN.com., 2002).
While many coral normally recover from short bleaching events, long-term or frequent
bleaching may severely weaken the coral, leaving them more vulnerable to disease. During the
first half of 1998, more ocean area in the tropics experienced exceptionally high sea surface
temperatures than had been observed in any full year since 1982. An increase in just one or
two degrees above usual maximum temperature can be deadly to these life forms (NOAA,
1998). The massive expansion of coral bleaching is a concern to scientists who were shocked

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

when coral that had survived for hundreds of years suddenly died in 1998. Divers in the tropics
found that up to 90 percent of some species were dead (CNN.com, 2002).

8.3 Nonpoint Source Pollution

Unlike pollution from industrial and sewage treatment plants, nonpoint source pollution comes
from diffuse sources as rainwater moves over and through the ground. As the runoff moves, it
picks up and carries away natural and human-made pollutants, depositing them into wetlands,
coastal waters, and in aquifers.

"When rain falls, water strikes the surface of the land washes off into coastal ponds,
bays, and estuaries. On the way, it picks up soils and contaminants from the ground
surface. If the storm water runoff discharges through a pipe or gut, it is called a "point
source" discharge. If it reaches the shore by flowing over the land, it is considered a
nonpointt source" (Division of Environmental Protection "Fact Sheet", 2000).

The pollutants include excess fertilizers, herbicides, and insecticides from agricultural lands
and residential areas, oil, grease and toxic chemicals from urban runoff and energy production.
Sediment from improperly-managed construction sites also constitutes nonpoint source
pollution, as well as bacteria and nutrients from pet wastes and livestock, and faulty septic
tanks can be carried by runoff and constitute nonpoint source pollutants.

Scientists and environmental activists consider nonpoint source pollution to be a leading cause
of water quality problems because it can impair the quality of drinking water, water supply,
marine recreation, fisheries, and wildlife.

8.3.1 Household Chemicals and Wastes / Septic Wastes

Pollutants such as waste oil, septic discharge, and household chemicals can be carried in storm
water runoff. If it reaches the saltponds, it can result in the death of animals, plants, and in
disruption of the ecology of the pond.

Chemicals in household cleaning products flushed down the toilets may find their way into the
aquifer, into the salt ponds, and eventually the sea.

8.3.2 Oil /Waste Oil

Oil spills may occur as marine or industrial accidents, or as a result of oil tank leakage.
According to a Division of Fish and Wildlife brochure (undated), there may be small spills (of
oil) from leaky boats or accidental fuel tank discharge that may result in oil-contaminated
wildlife. These spills affect seabirds, sea turtles, waterfowl, ospreys, fish-eating bats, and

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

In the 1998-1999 reporting period for the "2000 Water Quality Assessment", the Division of
Environmental Protection, 41 "spills" or, releases of oil into to the waters of the VI, were
reported to the St. Thomas office; 14 spills were reported to the St. Croix office. The VI Water
and Power Authority had seven spills; the Department of Public Works, one; and HOVENSA
had six incidents of oil sheen seen in the harbor The Division of Environmental Protection
reportedly tracked leaks in underground storage tanks in various stages of remediation at
twelve gasoline stations. (USVI DPNR, 2001).

Waste oil can originate in connection with automotive or boat maintenance, or from industrial
processes. Improperly handled waste oil can lead to long-term ecological problems as described
in public education fact sheets and brochures developed and distributed by the V.I. Energy
Office beginning in 1990. The Office also developed and funded a waste oil collection program
in the 1980s and 1990s in an effort to protect ground water. 10

8.3.3 Automobile Pollution

Automobiles that are not properly maintained contribute to air pollution that may cause
airborne particulate matter to settle on and damage the reefs.

Abandoned cars are a potential threat to ground water and the aquifer as the batteries, waste oil,
gas tank, and paint chips move with storm water runoff or leach into the aquifer.

Waste motor oil that is improperly disposed of pollutes the aquifer and may leach into the sea.

8.3.4 Boat-related Pollution

There are several sources of boat-related pollution.

Recent surveys make it clear that anchoring gear has damaged critical benthic
resources. Garrison (1993), and Link (1997) report that breakage occurs from
occasional ship groundings of large commercial vessels and smaller recreational
boats, anchoring, and deployment of fish traps on coral reefs;
While boats are on railways during repair and maintenance, oil, grease, paint
chips, and other scrapings and materials fall directly into the water;
Although the use of tributylin (TBT) is prohibited in the U.S., it is not prohibited
in many countries. Foreign ships entering [USVI] harbors may utilize bottom
paint containing TBT (IRF, Christiansted, 1993).

10 The fact sheets are out of print and no longer distributed by the Virgin Islands Energy office; however the
author of this report was the Director of that Office and is aware of the content of the facts sheets.

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

8.3.5 Watershed Degradation

A stakeholder comment, "What's done on the hills, ends up in the bay," raises the issue of
"ridge to reef' continuity. In an island microstate like the USVI, it is puzzling that this
continuity does not appear to be well understood, and has not been translated into public policy.
The APC Analytic studies and other literature address the degradation of substantial watershed
areas in the USVI as the result of unplanned and largely unregulated construction over the past
30-40 years. With the knowledge of the stresses on watersheds and ultimately on the marine
resource much more work urgently needs to be done to halt and reverse the degradation. The
Territory's total watershed area is substantial: St. Croix has 54,072 acres of watersheds, St.
Thomas has 18,952 acres, and St. John has 12,049 acres. (USVI DPNR Division of
Environmental Protection, 2001).

The draft management plans for the Christiansted (St. Croix), Mangrove Lagoon/Benner Bay
(St. Thomas), and Coral Bay (St. John) APCs, for which final approval is pending, describe the
impact of watershed degradation. For example, Christiansted Harbor receives drainage from a
watershed composed of eight sub-watersheds having a total area of 10.44 km2. Major areas in
that combined watershed are densely populated, with numerous paved and unpaved roads and
driveways, both abandoned and active gas stations, automotive and other businesses, etc.
Frequent stormwater runoff and sewage discharge combine with litter and sedimentation
creating visual and environmental degradation.

The draft APC management plan for Mangrove Lagoon and Benner Bay states that without
comprehensive planning, the combined watershed above Mangrove Lagoon/Benner Bay now
supports more than one-third of the population of St. Thomas in high and moderate density
housing, multiple businesses, and poorly-designed and poorly-maintained roads and driveways.
The issues of litter, sedimentation, flooding, and general degradation are yet to be addressed
through adequate planning and action.

To a lesser extent, the Coral Bay watershed is experiencing similar stresses and negative
impacts of hillside development, but stakeholders expressed serious concerns about future

8.3.6 Built Environment/Inappropriate Development

The APC Analytic studies completed by IRF in 1993, and the corresponding draft APC
Management Plans completed in 2001, identified numerous stresses and conflicts between the
built environment and the natural environment in the USVI:

Construction in known floodplains;
Inadequate or absent setbacks, unpaved roads, bad road and driveway design;
Coastal development increases the cumulative threat potential with respect to 3
types of coastal storm impacts: threats to public health safety and welfare, costs

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

to taxpayers for disaster relief and protection, losses of irreplaceable natural
Illegal setbacks from "guts";
Groundwater contamination: attributed to bacteriological contamination from
failing septic tanks, leaking municipal sewer lines, migration of contamination
from previous injections and disposal practices, frequent sewage bypasses
(DPNR, 1998);
Excessive amount of nutrients from improperly treated sewage.

Sediment-laden runoff after a heavy rainfall can be a by-product of poor land management
practices, an increase in the density or intensity of development, excessive land clearing, or loss
or degradation of mangroves and salt ponds. Turbidity is an outgrowth on sediment runoff

8.3.7 Sedimentation and Runoff

Some of the leading causes of nearshore coral decline are related to land development and
nearshore construction that are not environmentally sensitive. Sediment, silt, and other
suspended solids wash off of plowed fields, construction sites, and urban areas. Coastal
sediment is also caused by land clearing, and construction of seawalls, docks, and marinas
(U.S. EPA, 1998).

In the "Status of Coral Reefs in the USVI 2000" (2001), the impact of sedimentation and runoff
is described:

"Together with over-fishing and destructive fishing practices, the effects of
sedimentation and pollution have been identified as the primary human-induced agents
of stress that are contributing to the decline in tropical coastal marine habitats and their
associated reef fishes (Rogers, 1990, Roberts, 1993). Sedimentation can affect coral
health growth and recruitment, thereby reducing a reefs capacity to develop and
regenerate." (Rogers, 1990).

The September 2001 MPA NEWS references the New Atlas of World's Coral Reefs in which
coral reefs "at risk" are defined as those experiencing a medium to high level of threat from
fishing, pollution, or sedimentation. It further reports that there is a need for attention to be
given to more than simply the direct impact of humans on reefs. Fishing and tourist activities
may be controlled, but the more remote source of threats to reefs, notably pollution and
sedimentation from adjacent land, continues unabated. Without a more concerted effort to
control all of the impacts of humans on coral reefs, even the best-managed marine protected
areas may be managed in vain. (Emphasis added).

On St John, with slopes exceeding 30 percent on more than three-quarters of the island, the
accelerated development, absent prudent land management practices, presents a major threat to
the water quality and the marine resources. Rogers, et al. (2001) reports unpublished USGS
water quality data from thirty sites around St. John that show bays with developed watersheds

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

have higher turbidity and light extinction coefficients, and lower light transmission than bays
inside the park associated with underdeveloped or less disturbed watersheds.

The potential for sedimentation and runoff to negatively impact benthic health is illustrated by
the Potts and Lebow description of the 1993 floods in the Continental United States. Those
floods brought tons of sediment to the Gulf of Mexico, much of which was deposited on
Florida reefs with severe consequences at marine parks, sanctuaries, and reserves in lower

"The establishment of parks and reserves was an important step in managing reefs but
it did little more than establish "coral islands". What is needed is an integrated
approach to gain control over pollutants from distant sources...while the success of
these reserves may be debated, the plans of incorporating source pollution control is
key to the success of any coral reef management." (Emphasis added) Lebow and Potts,

The report, "Status of Coral Reefs in the USVI 2000" includes an appendix of monitoring
reports on water quality throughout the Territory that should raise the level of concern for water
quality and reef health.

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

8.3.8 Agricultural and Animal Wastes, and Chemicals

Environmentally responsible practices must be taught and promoted in concert with current
efforts to expand the agricultural sector. Agricultural practices and animal wastes can either be
the culprit in habitat degradation, or they can further goals for sustainability as in demonstrated
in integrated farm system models. A Division of Environmental Protection "Fact Sheet"
(undated #1) on pesticides describes the following:

Fertilizers, pesticides, and use of inappropriate species for landscaping
(especially non-native varieties) coupled with high maintenance (water)
requirement increases the sediment in the runoff;
Atmospheric deposition, agricultural and urban runoff, and cleaning products
high in phosphates can harm coral reef habitats;
Salt from irrigation practices, agriculture, and landscaping;
Bacteria and nutrients from livestock, pet wastes, and faulty septic systems;
Groundwater is a threatened resource; and recharge areas often lie close to
surface and may be affected by agricultural operations. Once contaminated,
groundwater is difficult or impossible to clean.

8.3.9 Trash

Trash and marine debris are unsightly and threaten marine resource health. Whether floating on
the ocean or resting on the floor, debris may rub against or smother coral. Boaters, divers, ships
and other vessels, and improper disposal of trash contribute to the problem.

In recent years, the Anti-Litter and Beautification Commissions in both the St. Croix and St.
Thomas-St. John districts have initiated community-based clean-up campaigns, adopt-a-spot
programs, and youth summer programs to clean and beautify beaches, mangroves, salt ponds,
and other areas. These and other efforts achieve temporary trash and litter reduction.

Integrated solid waste management solutions are prevalent in communities throughout the US,
due, in part, to the work of the waste management coalitions that grew out of regional federal-
state compacts, i.e., the Southern States Energy Board (SSEB). Despite a decade of
membership in the SSEB paid for by the V.I. Energy Office, and opportunities for technical
assistance from SSEB's Solid Waste Management Coalition, the USVI continues to be plagued
by waste mismanagement. It is likely that marine resources will continue to be stressed by the
trash that is improperly disposed, and by the government's inability to effectively manage trash
that is properly disposed.

Plastics cause a wide range of deadly threats as described in a government agency brochure on
plastics pollution (Division of Environmental Protection, undated #2). Discarded fishing lines,
nets, traps, six-pack holders, styrofoam cups and food trays, marine debris, trash floating on the
ocean or resting on the ocean floor comes from many sources, including boaters, divers,
improper disposal of trash on land and beaches, storm water runoff of rivers and streams, ships

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

and other vessels. This debris harms fish species and aquatic organisms on the reef, and can kill
coral by continually rubbing against it or smothering it.

"Plastic Pollution: Local Solution" (Division of Environmental Protection, undated brochure)
describes the sources of and damage to marine life by plastic pollution:

Plastics and plastic pollutants can wrap around and suffocate coral;
Birds and fish ingest plastics and plastic pollutants;
Thousands of marine animals are killed annually by entanglement in and ingestion of
plastics and plastic pollutants;
Plastic debris in our environment is a proven killer of marine and land mammals,
seabirds, sea turtles, fish, crabs, and conch.
Divers' lives are threatened by entanglement; and boats may become fouled in plastic
The majority of plastics found in our waters and on shore come from commercial
fishing boats, military ships, passenger liners, merchant ships, research vessels, and
pleasure boats dumping their garbage overboard. Other sources include docks and
marinas, picnickers and beachgoers.

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

8.4 Point Sources of Pollution

Marine management strategies are extending beyond the reef proper to all waters and activities
that have influence on the system, including both point source and non point source pollution
(see Chapter 1.1).

8.4.1 Sewage

Sewage that is improperly treated or discharged can harm or destroy marine habitats. Sewage
may act like fertilizer in the water causing excessive algae growth that, over time, deprives
some fish and marine animals of oxygen and space to grow.

According to the "Year 2000 Water Quality Assessment" (DPNR, 2001) the use of salt-water
flushing systems and the high wastewater strength have contributed to advanced deterioration
of the entire municipal collection and treatment system.

Sewage problems on St. Croix are frequently in the headlines and are noted in the Division of
Environmental Protection reports. St. Croix logged 83 sewage bypass, spills, or leaks from the
municipal system in the 1998-99 reporting period. Breakdowns of the municipal sewage system
and the subsequent illegal bypasses have created numerous instances of nutrient-loading in St.
Croix Waters (Division of Environmental Protection, 2001).

On St. Croix, the Department of Public Works has five manholes located seaward of the Mean
Low Water line. The Division of Environmental Protection studies show that in 1992 waters
surrounding these manholes had extremely elevated bacterial levels, especially after heavy
rains. Bacterial levels were recorded at greater than 1000 colonies per 100 milliliters,
exceeding both territorial water quality standards and the US Environmental Protection
Agency's swimmablee" criteria.

An illegal outfall discharge point that is utilized when the Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) lift
station is not operational is of major concern because it is located in the same segment of the
water body as drinking water intake for the major desalination units on St. Croix.

The Department of Public Works is currently facing legal charges related to, but not
specifically for, permit violations (Division of Environmental Protection, 2001); to-wit:

Discharge of waste overboard directly into the sea by boat owners and the
difficulty of regulating such activity (Division of Environmental Protection,
Sewage pump-out facilities are woefully lacking or inadequate throughout the
Territory in marinas and harbor, especially where "liveaboards" are moored (IRF
(1), 1993).

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

8.4.2 Industrial / Commercial

Regulated industrial discharges are monitored and documented by the Division of
Environmental Protection, including brine discharges from reverse osmosis plants, other
technology, and from freshwater production plants, industrial facility process water discharges,
and industrial facility drainage discharge. According to reports by the Division of
Environmental Protection, many of the regulated facilities are not in full compliance with the
provisions described in their respective permits. Site inspections of these facilities, and reports
of unpermitted discharges, indicate that the water bodies near such facilities are constantly
impacted (Division of Environmental Protection, 2001).

On St. Croix, the following adverse impacts have been reported:

Several buildings in Christiansted Town discharge their air conditioning
condensate and basement sump pumps into drainage guts. This flow is
considerable and carries dirt and litter into the sea (IRF(1), 1993);
Sewage from Hotel on the Cay in Christiansted Harbor is carried in a pipe that is
vulnerable to anchor and storm damage (IRF(1), 1993);
Untreated rum-effluent is persistently discharged along St. Croix's south shore
resulting in a five-mile long benthic "dead zone" caused by the high toxin level,
high Biological Oxygen Demand, and the high temperature of the effluent
(Rogers, et al., 2001);
There are industrial effluents from VI Water and Power Authority outfall;
HOVENSA is permitted discharge of sulfide (S), total chromium (Kr), and
phenols into the water. (Division of Environmental Protection, 2001).

The APC Analytic studies completed in 1993 by IRF addressed the impacts of industrial
activities on marine resources. The Christiansted study stated that sediment collected at the
Water and Power Authority outfall at Christiansted Harbor had levels of DDE (a degradation
product of DDT) of 45.8 parts per billion higher than both the ER-L and ER-M guidelines
(2ppb and 15ppb, respectively). The concentration of phosphorus () in the water at this site was
also shown to exceed local water quality standards (IRF (1) 1993).

A 1986 Environmental Assessment Report on the construction of the Water and Power
Authority's pier on St. Croix clearly attributes the rotting plant matter in the area to the
Authority's thermal discharge (USVI Government, 1986). The outfall mixing zone was not in
compliance with territorial law as indicated by several factors: 1) the existing poor condition of
the benthic community within the mixing zone and the presence of nonproductive adjacent
seagrass beds; 2) the outfall's proximity to important habitat on Long Reef, and 3) the
proximity of the water intake pipe for the desalination plant.

Major outfalls such as those of the Department of Public Works and the Water and Power
Authority are of concern since they are located in the same segment of the water body where
water intake occurs for the major desalination units at HOVENSA and the Richmond plant of
the Water and Power Authority, respectively (Division of Environmental Protection, 2001).

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

8.5 Stakeholder-identified Stresses, Threats, and

Stresses and threats described by the stakeholders mirror those found in the literature, and some
appear in the conflicts described in Chapter 7. Stakeholder input was not prioritized, however,
among the stresses and threats identified were:

Threat of federal and local government elimination of fishing as a livelihood;
More people competing for a finite marine resource;
Rapidly-increasing size of our human footprint on the environment;
Increase in tourism, requiring a balancing of economic benefit with environmental cost.

Species Survivability

Species survivability depends on the protection and health of the species throughout phases of
the life cycle. In much of marine management, there has not been an holistic approach to
understanding and protecting species throughout their life cycles. Such an approach is likely to
fail in the long run (Per. comm., Drayton, The Ocean Conservancy, 2002).

8.6 Conflicts, Stresses and Threats Specific to the APCs

There has been an attempt by local government to give special focus to APCs .The 1993 APC
Analytic Studies completed by Island Resources Foundation developed comprehensive baseline
information on the stresses and conflicts in all APCs. Management plans have been drafted for
three of those APCs, and a summary of APC water quality issues was included as an
attachment in the year "2000 Water Quality Assessment Report". (USVI DPNR DEP, 2001)

The designation as an APC denotes the need for attention and action, and there is a fair amount
of overlap between the designated APCs and marine areas already identified, or with the
potential to be identified, as MPAs. Stakeholders agreed that it makes sense to establish a link
between the MPA and APC planning processes. All information in Table 8-2 is excerpted from
the VI "2000 Water Quality Assessment Report". The numbers) following the name of the site
refers to the number assigned to the APC that corresponds to that site.

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Table 8-2 APC Stresses and Threats
ST. CROIX Expansion of commercial, residential, industrial boundary conflicts with
important wildlife areas and sea turtle nesting beaches;
Southshore Industrial Local fishers vie with boat traffic to access fishing grounds in the Channel;
Area (APC # 1, 4) HOVENSA oil seepage has been noted for decades and other hydrocarbon
storage sites have contaminated groundwater supply.

Results from numerous water quality and biological surveys indicate a worsening
problem, particularly as growth and development plans for these areas are underway.
Christiansted Problems include:
Waterfront Toxic conventional and unconventional pollutants;
(APC# 1,2,4,5) Water quality degradation and thermal pollution from the LBJ pump station;
Excessive amounts of heavy metals, phosphorus, and DDE, TBT, and oil
discharge from boats.
Includes one of St. Croix's remaining wetlands, and is situated in a large floodplain
Southgate Pond which has many federally and locally listed endangered species.
Cheney Bay With a marina and two resorts in the APC, CZM has issued four permits for
(APC # 1,3,4,5) major commercial development. The marina has been cited for previous water
Current Conflict: conservation efforts are at odds with development pressures -
despite its classification as an APC, as an Area for Preservation and Restoration,
and its inclusion in the VI Coastal Barrier Resources System, additional
commercial development and CZM major permits have been allowed.

Terrestrial runoff is the primary factor in reduced water quality, mainly in
nearshore waters;
St. Croix Reef System Sedimentation and nutrient-loading, and bacteria levels from poorly-functioning
(APC # 1,3) septic systems and vessel waste are of concern as well;
Oil and grease can also affect the health of coral reefs.

Source: Year 2000 Water Quality Assessment Report, USVI Department of Planning and
Natural Resources, Division of Environmental Protection.

Note: The APC number ( #) refers to the DPNR designation of APC identified as # 1-# 18

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Table 8-2 (cont'd)
Unplanned, intensive development has resulted in violation of building codes and
Enighed Pond Cruz incompatible land uses;
Bay (APCs # 2,4,5) Boat fuel stored in the creek area with little regard for safety measures;
Creek has been in violation of its Class B Standards due to storm sewer discharges
and heavy commercial boat use;
Cruz Bay's water quality classification as "fishable/swimmable" is questionable.

Chocolate Hole -
Great Cruz Bay Most use conflicts arise due to increasing boat anchoring and mooring which has
(APC # 5) reduced maneuverability in the area;
Other conflicts include small craft use and snorkeling/diving activities;
Dredging in the 1960s and 1980s significantly increased turbidity;
Vessel waste discharge has become more of a concern as boaters use the bay for
A closed solid waste dump at Estate Susannaberg may be contributing pollutants to
the watershed;
Further development within the Chocolate Hole/Great Cruz Bay area needs to be
strictly managed.

There is very little green space left;
St. Thomas Harbor Water pollution in the harbor comes from 5 main sources: 1) sedimentation, runoff,
and Waterfront and propeller wash; 2) leaking sewer pipes and storm water flow; 3) vessel waste
(APC # 2,3,4,5) discharges; 4) solid waste from both land and vessels; and 5) oil contamination
from both land and sea dumping and leaks;
There is no consistent water quality monitoring system. Therefore, specific
regulation implementation will have little scientific merit.

Magens Bay
(APC # 3,6) Post-Hugo: Experienced an unquantified amount of hydrocarbon pollution due to
the increased use of gasoline-powered generators;
Continuing development and excessive beach use need to be managed.

Mandahl Bay
(APC # 1,3,6) Construction of stone jetties resulted in loss of beach sand; therefore, public usage
of the beach has significantly declined;
Storm water runoff has negatively impacted the pond periodically;
Elevated levels of fecal coliforms have been reported, probably due to septic tank

Vessup Bay Red
Hook (APC # 3,4,5) Both are used for anchorage and experience heavy boat traffic;
Oil disposal has been a problem.

Source: Year 2000 Water Quality Assessment Report, USVI Department of Planning and
Natural Resources, Division of Environmental Protection.

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

9.0 Projected Demand for Marine Resources

The USVI is an insular area, albeit one whose population increases tenfold by annual visitor
arrivals (BER, 2001). It may be important to look at the demographic base needed to support
each unit of marine-related business, and assess whether and how much growth in this area can
be supported by the demographics. Commonly, in community economic planning assessment
of the of the population is needed to determine existence of support for a particular economic
activity, e.g., the mix of families and single adults of "x" income level necessary to provide
enough business to support, for example, a hardware store or pharmacy. Such information
enables planners to make fairly sound assumptions about the potential for success or failure of
additional hardware stores or pharmacies in the particular community.

Notwithstanding more than thirty years of marine interest and activity in the USVI, the VI
Bureau of Economic Research still does not collect or organize data that is specific to the
marine resource. Absent baseline data or previous trend analysis, this Report offers what is,
admittedly, speculation concerning projected demand vis-a-vis economic opportunities. There
is no indication from our research that existing traditional conflicts are being resolved;
therefore, speculation on the direction if not the magnitude, of such conflicts, is perhaps a bit
more grounded.

Absent baseline data, it was necessary for the MPA survey be long enough to capture
respondents' demographics, general questions, and specific user groups' questions, yet short
enough to be considered reasonable by stakeholders. We extracted information on trends and
projections from the supplemental surveys and comments made at community briefings and
focus groups, although it is important to note that none were of sufficient detail to generate
statistically reliable figures or conclusions. A separate survey to obtain input on projections and
trends should be undertaken for future, comprehensive MPA analysis.

To accurately project demand on resource use and identify opportunities for growth in marine
supportive businesses, USVI marine management planning will have to identify and measure
relevant parameters, and define and address issues related to the carrying capacity of the
islands. The issue of overfishing should be understood through data not anecdotes, and the
determination of environmental costs and economic benefits of increased diving activity must
be measured not surmised. (See Appendix VI for parameters and subparameters measured in
socio-economic assessments.

9.1 Economic Opportunities and Associated Natural
Resource Dependencies

We estimate the total value of marine resources in the USVI is well in excess of $1 billion
annually the equivalent of more than half of the Territory's GTP (see Table 6-1).
Recognizing the direct link between the marine environment and the Territory's economy, it is
not surprising that the largest monetary value by far was attributable to the tourism industry and
related activities. Term charter boats and yachts, private recreational boats, commercial fishing,

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

and recreational fishing followed tourism in monetary value. The extent to which other
marine-related uses and non-use categories have values that may be equal to, or possibly
exceed those noted, is unclear and warrants further research.

In order to obtain a truly accurate economic picture, the economic opportunities presented by
effective MPA management include "plugging" some of the economic leakage, potential
increase in fish production, and creation of a sustainable ecotourism product. These
opportunities augment the obvious benefits of job creation and income gains from increased
activity in boating, fishing, and diving.

9.1.1 Reduction of Economic Leakage

Generally, goods and products consumed in the USVI are imported from the Mainland United
States. In recent years there has been a growing understanding of the concept of "economic
leakage" that the rate at which money spent in the Territory leaves the economy with little or
no re-spending benefit thereby "leaks" out of the local economy. The high rate of leakage for
the USVI was reported in "The USVI Energy Profile", which included an analysis that
compared the USVI's 0.45 self-sufficiency index with the 0.75 self-sufficiency index for the
U.S. as a whole (Economic Research Associates, 1994). In the context of economic operations,
self-sufficiency is not linked to political status, but to the extent to which there is re-spending
of dollars (the multiplier effect) within that economy. Without a computation of the self-
sufficiency index for areas similar to the USVI, e.g., Guam or Puerto Rico, the U.S. figure is
offered as a relative not a comparative reference.

Consumer purchases of imported items (food, clothing, boats, raw materials for manufacturing,
fuel, and goods for resale) contribute to economic leakage. In urban and community planning,
community economic development strategies are often designed to "grow an economy" from
within, thereby offsetting leakage. New or expanded business activities linked to the marine
resource e.g., development of the game fishing, or sustainable mariculture designed to meet
domestic, hotel, and restaurants needs could be part of a community economic development
strategy to grow the economy from within and reduce economic leakage.

Any venture into mariculture should, however, be designed for sustainability based on the
successes and failures of other mariculture efforts, and should go forward after comprehensive
environmental assessment is completed and a system for monitoring is in place.

9.1.2 Positive Impact on Fish Production

Stakeholders in all meetings expressed interest in sustainable mariculture as constituting a
potential benefit to fishers, food production, and the economy. Although no specific studies
were found to document annual fish catch and local demand, the literature review provided
some indication that the demand for fish has consistently exceeded supply in the USVI since
the 1930s (see Section 5.1.3). If this is true, and if the reported impacts of the Soufriere Marine
Management Area mentioned earlier are accurate (i.e., positive impacts on the mass, diversity,
and abundance of stock in the managed areas), then a combination of a marine protected area

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

approach and sustainable mariculture could serve to increase stock not only for local
consumption but possibly for export as well. The latter is another example of the way an
economy may show growth from within.

9.1.3 Sustainable Ecotourism

The nature trails and hiking normally associated with ecotourism are not without problems. The
economic success of ecotourism in the Central American country of Belize or St. John in the
USVI has been widely publicized. The potential downside of that success is overuse and
deterioration of the very resources that bring the significant new dollars to the economy. For
example, trails and routes may need to be rotated to avoid changes in drainage patterns and to
avoid damage to sessile life along the paths. For marine resources to be sustained for use by
locals or tourists, the use may have to be limited at some stage. GIS models can support the
assessment of carrying capacity at the early stage of development and can help to refine the
assessment over time. The dynamics of sustainable economic and environmental balance will
require GIS modeling.

9.1.4 Boating

According to a report in a local on-line newspaper, signs for the boat-chartering season are
good. The St. Croix Source wrote, "As local and regional marine stalwarts agreed that the VI
chartering industry is alive and showing signs of good health despite tourism
downturns...charter yacht bookings have increased...." (Gates 2001).

Reporting on a meeting between the VI Marine Industries Association and the Coast Guard
Marine Office, The St. Croix Source wrote that a local senator re-stated her objective to
"encourage ongoing plans to systematically return the local marine industry to its former
importance to the economy". MPA stakeholders expressed cautious optimism that with the
Executive and Legislative Branches' recent attention to the USVI's decline as a "premier
location for yachting, and regattas", the decade-long decline may be reversed. The VI Marine
Industries Association described that decline:

In 1988, the USVI was the charter yacht capital of the world, putting a hundred
million dollars into the local economy-with a goal of two hundred million by
the year 2000.... It did not happen, and 1992 had reduced the industry to $20
million." (Gates, 2001).

Reflecting an expanding recreational boat sector, the Division of Fish and Wildlife registered
more than 1,813 recreational vessels in 1998; existing marinas were upgraded, and new
marinas were constructed (Mateo, 1999).

The VI Charter Yacht League reported that the annual Charterboat Show, which showcases
crewed charter vessels 45 to 105 feet in length to charter brokers, filled up early in 2001. (Gates

Socio Economic Assessment of Marine Resource Utilization in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Stakeholders recommended that there should be comprehensive economic analysis of
commercial and recreational boating activity. With an understanding of the economic benefit
and the environmental/social costs of boating, sound decisions could be made regarding
promotion and marketing of these activities. The Department of Tourism's and/or boating
groups' plans to increase the number of events such as races/regattas, fishing tournaments, and
the like, are not, apparently, known at this time.

9.1.5 Fishing

Both commercial and recreational fishers in the stakeholder process agree that marine resource
management that is well-planned and well-implemented will benefit fish stocks. However, the
uncertainty about possible boundaries and restrictions arising from federal or local government
action has put a damper on some fishers' thoughts about the future.

All fishers agreed that there is a need for improved commercial and recreational record-keeping
in order to identify "who is fulltime/part time", "who is commercial/recreational" fisher, "how
much of what kind fish" are being caught, and "what methods" and "what equipment" are being
used. Until that is done, it will not be possible to make accurate projections because there is no
baseline data.

Fishers who participated in the stakeholder process also recommend that British Virgin Islands
(BVI) fishers who fish in USVI waters should also be accounted for as they may deplete stocks.

Both groups (commercial and recreational fishers) agreed that it is important to ensure a
healthy and plentiful stock of game fish in order to expand the already lucrative gamefishing

9.1.6 Diving/Diving Schools

The Virgin Islands placed second for "Best snorkeling", and St. Croix was rated fourth overall
for "Best overall destination, best visibility and value in the Caribbean, and the world's most
popular ide'ti,,iniv"/ in a poll taken by Rodale's Scuba Diving Magazine. (CYBER SCUBA
DIVER, 2002).

The USVI has a vigorous diving industry that reaches both the local and the tourist market.
From the standpoint of environmental protection and the number of consumers needed to
support diving activities, study and analysis is required to determine the benefit, cost, and
feasibility of an expanded diving sector. There are many recent studies and reports on the
impact of divers on the marine resource, and it would not be difficult to assess the potential
environmental benefits and costs. As for the question of whether market demographics support
an expanded diving industry, data is not available. The Bureau of Economic Research
aggregates diving and water sports data with the tourism/recreation category, thereby clouding
the possibility of making diving-specific trend analyses and projections. It also appears that no
government agency has been tasked with developing industry-related demographic analysis for

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