We conduct a wide range of surveys and associated economic analyses to assess the costs and benefits of fisheries management decisions. These analyses directly support our stewardship goal of maximizing benefits to the nation while ensuring the long-term sustainability of all living marine resources. We present economic information on U.S. commercial fishing, recreational fishing, and fishing-related industries in the annual Fisheries Economics of the United States report.
We conduct nationwide expenditure surveys of marine anglers every three to five years. Survey results are used to assess how marine recreational fishing contributes to the economies of coastal communities and to the nation’s economy.
2016-2017 Marine Recreational Expenditure Survey
Angler expenditures 2014
Angler expenditures 2011
Angler expenditures 2006
We conduct two types of surveys for valuing recreational angler benefits: revealed preference surveys and stated preference surveys. Both types gather information for models used in fishery management, as well as other types of resource management.
Revealed preference models study recreational anglers’ behavior and the economic value of recreational fishing trips. They can be used to compare fishery management options, to analyze the rebuilding of fish stocks, or to provide the data on angler behavior that are needed for regional impact assessments. They are useful for evaluating projects that affect fisheries (such as dam removal), natural resource damage assessment (such as an oil spill), and ecosystem management decisions.
Stated preference models can be used for the same purposes as revealed preference studies—identifying patterns in angler behavior, gauging reactions to management and stock changes, examining species trade-offs, evaluating large-scale environmental issues or policies, valuing fish or angling trips, and analyzing costs and benefits. Their results can provide context for management issues or be used as predictive assessments of potential policy changes.
The for-hire sector of recreational fisheries includes charter boats, headboats, and guideboats. Surveys and models of this sector are useful for management questions, such how the industry contributes to a regional economy and how changes in management policies, natural disasters, or other environmental changes will affect the economy.
What matters most to saltwater recreational anglers? Results from a new NOAA Fisheries survey aim to begin answering that question. Learn more