New report indicates true worth of US sea fishing
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Sea angling is a massively greater economic force in the US than previous evaluations suggested, according to a report from the NOAA Fisheries.
Figures for 2017 show angling trip expenditures totaled $10.5 billion, more than double the $4.4billion identified in the 2016 report.
The huge increase is revealed in ‘2017 Economic Contribution of Marine Angler Expenditures on Fishing Trips in the US’ and is mainly attributed to the new Marine Recreational Information Programme revealing far more angler trips than previous estimates.
The Center for Sportfishing Policy (CSP) has for several years been calling on NOAA Fisheries to provide a more modern management and inclusive valuation of recreational angling economics, and for those results to be compared to the commercial harvest of marine resources.
“The recreational angling community has long believed that NOAA Fisheries was significantly under-estimating the economic vitality of saltwater recreational angling and this latest report is at last a vindication of that,” said Jeff Angers, President of the CSP.
“It has been apparent that the NOAA doesn’t have a true grasp of all the information needed to make informed decisions on the proper management of our marine resources. There are still significant pieces missing from the economic realities of saltwater angling that will paint a still more robust picture, but this data is an encouraging sign that our arguments are finally being heard.”
Pat Murray, President of the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA), welcomed the figures but said the more difficult part was convincing NOAA Fisheries to make management decisions based on the information.
The report further reveals that saltwater angler trips contributed:
• 167,000 jobs (up from 66,000 in 2016);
• $24 billion in total sales (up from $10 billion in 2016);
• $14 billion in value added to GDP (up from $5.1 billion in 2016);
• $7.9 billion in income to the economy (up from $3.1 billion in 2016).
“Not only has the number of angler trips gone up, but the base expenditure per trip has finally been updated as well. The end result is that NOAA Fisheries is finally acknowledging that saltwater recreational fishing is an economic heavyweight,” added Angers.
The full report can be found here