Aquaculture for all

US Report Counts the Value of Fisheries

Economics Politics +2 more

US - U.S. commercial and recreational fishing generated more than $185 billion in sales and supported more than two million jobs in 2006, according to a new economic report released by NOAAs Fisheries Service.

Fishermen hauling in Atlantic surf clams.
(Credit: NOAA)

The commercial fishing industry — harvesters, seafood processors and dealers, seafood wholesalers and seafood retailers — generated $103 billion in sales, $44 billion in income and supported 1.5 million jobs in 2006, the most recent year included in the report, Fisheries Economics of the United States 2006, which covers 1997 to 2006. Recreational fishing generated $82 billion in sales, $24 billion in income, and supported 534,000 jobs in 2006.

“The report documents clearly that managing fisheries sustainably is good for the environment and the economy,” said Jim Balsiger, NOAA acting assistant administrator for NOAA’s Fisheries Service. “Fishing helps create a substantial number of jobs around the nation.”

The report also breaks down the sales, income and job figures for each coastal state. The highest amount of sales generated by the commercial fishing industry were in California ($9.8 billion), Florida ($5.2 billion), Massachusetts ($4.4 billion), Washington ($3.8 billion), and Alaska ($3 billion). The most jobs were generated in California (179,000), Florida (103,000), Massachusetts (83,000), Washington (75,000) and Texas (47,000).

Recreational fishing generated its highest economic effect in total sales and jobs generated in Florida ($7.6 billion sales, 131,000 jobs); Texas ($2.2 billion sales, 34,000 jobs); California ($1.9 billion sales, 23,000 jobs); North Carolina ($1.2 billion sales, 24,000 jobs); and Louisiana ($1.2 billion sales, 27,000 jobs).

Fisheries Economics of the United States 2006 also 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 is the first volume in a new series designed to give the public accessible economic information on fishing activities in the U.S., and is a companion to Fisheries of the United States, and the forthcoming Fishing Communities of the United States.

The report also provides a snapshot of fishery management plans, limited access privilege fishing programs (a type of catch share program), buyback programs, and ecolabeling programs, as well as the status of fish stocks and an inventory of protected marine resources.

Further Reading

- You can view Fisheries Economics of the United States, 2006 by clicking here.
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