Identifying Economic Data Needs for Saltwater Recreational Fishing

Economists from across NOAA Fisheries met in July 2011 to discuss the state of the Agency’s social and economic information on recreational fishing. Findings from this Recreational Fisheries Data and Model Needs Workshop, held in Silver Spring, MD, are outlined in a newly released internal assessment.

Growing Need for Social and Economic Information

These days, fishery management is about more than just how many fish can we catch; it’s also about the importance of fish, fishing, and healthy ecosystems to coastal communities and their residents. Social and economic information about fishing activities increasingly are relied upon by both government officials and the recreational fishing community to make informed decisions that ensure sustainable fisheries.

Providing Answers to Practical Questions

NOAA economists are currently working across the country to address pressing questions including:

  • What are the economic contributions of recreational fishing?
  • What are anglers’ opinions and attitudes on various management scenarios?
  • How do regulatory changes affect angler behavior?
  • How will management decisions affect coastal economies and recreational fishing interests?
  • What is the consumer demand for for-hire fishing trips and how is it changing?

Responding to Emerging Needs

Recognizing the growing need for more social and economic data, NOAA Fisheries undertook an internal evaluation of our recreational fisheries economics programs. The internal group―made up of representatives from NOAA Fisheries headquarters, regional offices and science centers―identified opportunities and obstacles to improving the quality and quantity of information to meet emerging information needs.

Next Steps

As NOAA Fisheries considers this internal assessment, we also want to be responsive to the needs of managers, coastal communities, industry, and anglers. In the coming months, we will continue to engage in a conversations with stakeholders about our assessment’s findings and ways to address those needs.

If you’d like to join this conversation or have any questions:

 Contact Information

 Dr. Sabrina Lovell, Recreational Economist

 NOAA Fisheries Office of Science and Technology, 301-427-8153