Aquatic Stewardship Education in Theory and Practice

The Influence of Angler Value Orientations on Fisheries Stewardship Norms

Jeremy T. Bruskotter and David C. Fulton


Abstract.—In this paper, we describe a fishing ethic, conceptualized as Minnesota anglers’ normative beliefs regarding various stewardship behaviors. We use structural equation modeling to determine the extent to which angler’s value orientations, measured along an anthropocentric–biocentric continuum, can be used to predict social norms regarding angling and endorsement or opposition to the use of technological angling aids. Data were obtained from a statewide mail survey of Minnesota anglers conducted in the spring of 2003 (n = 457). Results show a modest, positive relationship between biocentric value orientations and stewardship norms and a modest, negative relationship between biocentric value orientations and support for the use of technological angling aids. Consistent with previous research, our results indicated that norms regarding angling may be positioned along a bio-anthropocentric continuum and support the use of the cognitive hierarchy as a framework for understanding and predicting anglers’ normative beliefs. Results further suggest fisheries managers interested in promoting stewardship could benefit from recognizing the underlying values that help guide our behavior regarding natural resources.