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Regional economic impact assessments of recreational fisheries: an application of the IMPLAN modeling system to marine party and charter boat fishing in Maine


Regional economic impact assessments (EIAs) of recreational fisheries reveal how anglers' expenditures affect economic activity such as sales, income, and employment in a particular region. Unfortunately, most EIA studies report only the final impacts of the EIA, without describing the economic interdependencies that produced the impacts or how the results should and should not be used to guide management decisions. This is particularly troublesome because most resource managers only vaguely understand how EIA models work and how to interpret the results in a fisheries management framework. The purpose of this article is to provide a starting point toward establishing consistent and defensible techniques for conducting regional EIAs of recreational fisheries and to explore the appropriate uses of EIA outputs as they relate to the growing needs of natural resource managers. Using marine recreational party and charter boat fishing in Maine in 1996 as an example, an EIA was conducted with the IMPLAN (Impact analysis for Planning) input–output system. Economic impacts were analyzed separately for Maine residents and nonresidents, and a linear production function that represented average for-hire operating expenditures was developed and integrated into the input–output model. Direct, indirect, and induced economic impacts were estimated for sales, income, and employment. In total, the US$1.12 million spent in Maine by nonresident party and charter anglers in 1996 resulted in $1.04 million in sales that remained within the state, $393 thousand in additional income, and supported approximately 37 jobs. Resident expenditures in 1996 totaled $276 thousand and generated $225 thousand in instate sales, $82 thousand in income, and approximately 10 jobs. The impacts of nonresident expenditures were generally five times greater than that of their resident counterparts. However, the actual economic impact of resident expenditures depends on assumptions regarding the absence of the marine for-hire fishery in Maine. Although the model's multipliers may be used to predict the total impacts of changes in expenditures by party and charter boat anglers, it is important to understand their limitations. The procedures and data sets applied here, if used in conjunction with future versions of IMPLAN, can serve as a foundation for updating the Maine input–output model provided in this study and for developing economic impact assessments of recreational fisheries in other states.

Source: Steinback, S. 1999 . "Regional economic impact assessments of recreational fisheries: an application of the IMPLAN modeling system to marine party and charter boat fishing in Maine." North American Journal of Fisheries Management, 19(3): 724-736.

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