Originally Posted by rdawson808
I'll vouch for the guy that such things are taught and one can get a degree, including advanced degrees, in such things as "leisure studies" etc. This includes studying parks and how they are used, probably fishing, etc. There's also the well-known field of hotel management.
I had roommates in grad school who did such things. And let's face it, when you're working on an advanced degree, you can specialize. Even into something as specialized as bass fishing.
I don't doubt he's telling the truth. I understand the rationale for hotel and tourism management (I teach management) and even the objective of studying how people use parks in order to design better or safer parks and use funds more effectively. I admit that I am stumped on the fishing motivations research though. Is it intending to help tourism agencies design more targeted advertising campaigns?
Thanks for your interest. I submitted my first draft Tuesday and had some other paperwork to do, so little time to answer.
Texas A&M probably does the most work on this sort of stuff through their Human Dimensions of Wildlife program. Here is a link to see more about the type of research they do:http://lutra.tamu.edu/hdlab/default.htm
While a lot of the work they do is from the fisheries prespective, much of it is related to tourism/leisure/economics. As to how I got into it, I teach English (B.A., M.A. in English) in a tourism department in Korea. For the purposes of job security/advancement, it was suggested that I may want to pursue the Ph.D. in tourism management. There is a uni in another city which offers the coursework in English. As rdawson808 pointed out, much of the work in the field is done in hotel management. I believe I could learn more about that subject by working in a hotel than I ever could by studying the field, and I don't want to work in a hotel.
My background is from a rural area, and I come from a hunting and fishing background, so that seemed like a more natural fit. Also, in Korea, everyone studies the hot topics, and nobody is studying human dimensions type stuff (maybe because they're pretty much eaten all the wildlife). However, I think in the future there is going to be a higher environmental consciousness here, and more possibilities for using this as a specialty.
From a practical perspective, Japan has the highest number of bass anglers in the world after the U.S. The government, however, is trying to eliminate the fish from Japanese waters. Therefore, you have five million (estimates vary) bass fishermen with the possibility of their favorite fish being diminished. Japanese anglers travel to the U.S. and Mexico for bass fishing. My idea is bring them to Korea.
Of course, when I explain this opportunity to Korean colleagues, their response is often, "Yes, we must kill all the bass." Though many Koreans also fish for bass, a lot of people hate the "foreign" fish. There is a law on the books now that mandates fines up to U$10,000 and/or two years in prison for catch and release bass fishing. With no game wardens, though, there is no possibility of enforcement. And it seems to be the ONLY fishing limitation -- no minimum size requirements, no limits on people fishing out a stream with nets -- nothing to conserve the resource, but because fishing is worse than before, it must be the foreign fish to blame. (Yes, they eat everything, but there are some serious conservation problems that, I believe, and at least partially to blame).
I think one of the first steps toward environmental improvement would be research into the problems, which has not been done here.
Sorry if this has turned into a rant, as well for any spelling/grammar mistakes. I typed it quickly as too many other things to do at present. If you have any more questions about fishing in Korea, or want to find a good home for some size 11 shoes (I love the look of Sutors, though don't have any) or Carlo Franco ties (I know some of you knock them, but I like the heft and there isn't much to choose locally, especially in a longer length), just let me know.