‘US fisheries are big business’

Published by FiskerForum, 18-05-2017 · info@fiskerforum.dk

Two newly published reports have outlined US progress in managing marine resources, with commercial and recreational fishing generating $208 billion in sales in 2015 and supporting 1.6 million full and part-time jobs.

According to NOAA’s Fisheries Economics of the United States report, fishing $97 billion to the US GDP and the figures are above the five-year average.

The Annual Report to Congress on the Status of US Fisheries shows that the number of domestic fish stocks listed as overfished or subject to overfishing remain near all-time lows, with two new stocks rebuilt in 2016.

The reports highlight the collaborative role of NOAA Fisheries and many partners in making continued progress towards ending overfishing, rebuilding stocks, and realising significant benefits to the US economy.

‘US fisheries are big business,’ said Samuel Rauch, acting assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries. ‘Sustainable management of our nation’s fisheries, supported by sound science, opens up economic opportunities to Americans along the supply chain – from buying bait at a local marina to enjoying a seafood dinner.’

The US commercial fishing and seafood industry (including imports) generated $144 billion in sales in 2015, a 6% decline from the previous year, and supported 1.2 million jobs, a 15% decline from 2014, although this is still above the five-year average.

Factors such as the ‘warm blob,’ marine toxins, and El Niño affected the Pacific marine environment in 2015, and West Coast fishermen saw lower landings and revenue for several key commercial species.

Market forces affected fisheries in other regions, such as in the Gulf of Mexico, where revenue for shrimp landings decreased due to high inventories, dampening prices for both domestic harvest and imports. Seafood imports were also lower in 2015—$1.4 billion less than in 2014.

In 2016, US fisheries continued to rebuild, with the number of stocks on the overfishing and overfished lists remaining near all-time lows. Four stocks came off the overfishing list, while six stocks were added to the overfishing list. There were no changes to the list of overfished stocks in 2016. Two additional stocks-- barndoor skate in Georges Bank/Southern New England and albacore in the North Atlantic-- were rebuilt in 2016, bringing the total stocks rebuilt since 2000 to 41.

Source: NOAA

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