Fishing nets US almost $200 billion –

Fishing nets US almost $200 billion Published:  26 May, 2014

TWO new official reports show the United States making strong economic gains from fishing, coupled with a steady improvement in fish stocks.

Both reports are from the NOAA (National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration) and say that US commercial and recreational saltwater fishing generated more than $199 billion in sales in 2012.

This is a gain of seven per cent over the previous year, with the economic impact of fishing jobs increasing three per cent from 2011 to 2012.

Moreover, two more fish stocks were rebuilt to target levels in 2013, bringing the number of rebuilt US marine fish stocks to 34 since 2000, according to the second NOAA  study.

Taken together, the two reports, Fisheries Economics of the United States 2012 and the Status of US Fisheries 2013, show positive trends in the steady rebuilding of the country’s federally managed fisheries off our coasts, and the important role fisheries contribute to the United States economy.

‘These two reports highlight the steady rebuilding of US fisheries and the broad and positive economic impact of commercial and recreational fishing to the nation’s economy,’ said Eileen Sobeck, assistant NOAA administrator for fisheries.

‘These reports are an excellent example of the environmental intelligence NOAA uses and provides every day. Fishing is big business and culturally important in our country. On top of that, it supports a lot of jobs,’ she added.

According to the economics report, commercial and recreational fishing supported approximately 1.7 million jobs in 2012, the most recent year for which data are available, a gain over 2011’s 1.6 million.

The commercial fishing industry — harvesters, processors and dealers, and wholesalers and retailers — generated $141 billion in sales, $39 billion in income, and supported 1.3 million jobs in 2012 in fishing and across the broader economy.

Recreational fishing generated $58 billion in sales, $19 billion in income, and supported 381,000 jobs in 2012 in fishing and across the broader economy.

The annual economics report also breaks down the sales, income and job figures for each coastal state. The five states that generated the most commercial fishing jobs in 2012 were California, Massachusetts, Florida, Washington and Alaska.

The five states that generated the most recreational fishing jobs were Florida, North Carolina, Louisiana, Texas and New Jersey.  The other new report, Status of US Fisheries 2013, also shows improvement as US fisheries continue to rebuild. The two stocks rebuilt in 2013 are Southern Atlantic Coast black sea bass and Sacramento River fall Chinook salmon.

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