U.S. commercial and recreational saltwater fishing generated more than $199 billion in sales and supported 1.7 million jobs in the nation’s economy in 2011, according to a new economic report released by NOAA’s Fisheries Service.
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 U.S. 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.”