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Report finds Commercial, Recreational Saltwater Fishing Generated $199 billion in 2011

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US - US commercial and recreational saltwater fishing generated more than $199 billion in sales and supported 1.7 million jobs in the nations economy in 2011, according to a new economic report released by NOAAs Fisheries Service.

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The report, Fisheries Economics of the United States 2011, is published annually on a two-year lag to allow data collection, analysis, and peer review. It provides economic statistics on US commercial and recreational fisheries and marine-related businesses for each coastal state and the nation. Key to the report are the economic effects--jobs, sales, income, and value added to Gross National Product--of the commercial and recreational fishing industries. “Economic impact” measures how sales in each sector ripple throughout the state and national economy as each dollar spent generates additional sales by other firms and consumers.

The seafood industry—harvesters, seafood processors and dealers, seafood wholesalers and retailers—generated $129 billion in sales impacts, $37 billion in income impacts and supported 1.2 million jobs in 2011, the most recent year included in the report. Recreational fishing generated $70 billion in sales impacts, $20 billion in income impacts, and supported 455,000 jobs in 2011. Compared to 2010, the numbers are up for all of these impacts except commercial seafood sales.

“Commercial and recreational fishing are integral parts of the nation’s social and economic fabric,” said Sam Rauch, deputy assistant NOAA administrator for NOAA’s Fisheries Service. “While there’s still work to do, to see landings and value climb in 2011 shows we’re moving in the right direction, even in this time of challenging transition for many fishing communities.”

The annual report also breaks down the sales impacts, income impacts and job figures for each coastal state. The five states that generated the most jobs from fishing in 2011 were California, Massachusetts, Florida, Washington, and Alaska. The states with the most growth in the number of commercial fishing jobs compared to 2010 were Alabama (76 per cent, net increase of 4,743 jobs), Mississippi (45 per cent, net increase of 1,722 jobs), Oregon (32 per cent, net increase of 4,483 jobs), Louisiana (29 per cent, net increase of 7,272 jobs), and Alaska (17 per cent, net increase of 9,288 jobs).

The greatest portion of the nation’s landings revenue generated by the commercial fishing industry was in Alaska ($1.9 billion), followed by Massachusetts ($433 million), and Maine ($381 million).

Saltwater recreational fishing generated its highest economic effect in sales impacts and jobs in West Florida ($4.9 billion sales, 47,000 jobs) East Florida ($3.3 billion sales, 29,000 jobs); Louisiana ($2 billion sales, 18,000 jobs); North Carolina ($2 billion sales, 18,000 jobs); Texas ($1.9 billion sales, 15,000 jobs); and New Jersey (1.7 billion sales, 10,000 jobs).

Fisheries Economics of the United States, 2011 includes descriptive statistics on commercial fish landings, revenue, and price trends; recreational fishing effort, catch, and participation rates; and employer and non-employer establishments, annual payroll, and annual receipt information for fishing-related industries such as seafood retailers and ship and boat building. The report also provides a snapshot of fishery management plans, limited access privilege fishing programs (a type of catch share program), buyback programs, as well as the status of fish stocks and an inventory of protected marine resources.

The report is the sixth volume in an annual series designed to give the public accessible economic information on fishing activities in the US, and is a companion to Fisheries of the United States.

Fisheries Economics of the United States 2011 is available online at: Hard copies of the report are forthcoming.

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