Date of Award

7-23-2015

Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Science and Policy

Department

Department of Environmental Science and Policy

Thesis Advisor

Brian Eisenhauer

Committee Member

Harry S. Vogel

Committee Member

Kerry L. Yurewicz

Abstract

For over two decades, the use of lead fishing tackle has been a controversial topic among the New Hampshire(NH) angling community. In 2013, NH Senate Bill 89 was passed (effective June 1, 2016) to ban the sale and freshwater use of lead sinkers and lead jigs weighing one ounce or less. Likewise, various non-regulatory strategies such as raising awareness of the upcoming law and incentivizing voluntary change are being explored by state agencies and local non-profit organizations to reduce the use of lead fishing tackle. These action categories (i.e. regulatory vs. non-regulatory) are not exclusive, and the most effective and realistic approach to promote behavior change may involve a combination of strategies. In this study, both general freshwater and bass angling groups were identified as important populations of anglers to target in marketing. Using the Theory of Planned Behavior (TBP) to structure conceptualization and research focus, this thesis uses a mixed mode method to understand NH anglers, with a specific focus on freshwater anglers. Specifically, the target behavior is purchasing non-lead tackle. To better understand motivations and barriers to purchasing non-lead fishing tackle, fifteen key informant interviews were conducted, followed by a random sample survey sent to 6,000 NH anglers. The survey produced significant findings such as the importance of addressing conservation benefits to the angling community. Likewise, these findings will help influence New Hampshire anglers’ willingness to comply with the lead tackle ban and use alternatives. This thesis applies theory driven research and findings to the framework of community-based social marketing (CBSM) to create effective, empirically supported strategies for marketing to make it easier for anglers to switch to lead alternatives immediately. The strategies are presented as 19 recommendations to promote conservation through lead alternative tackle purchases. Implementing this research supports project partners’ advancement in reducing the impacts of lead fishing tackle in New Hampshire and encourages compliance under SB89by June 2016.

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