Northeast Socioeconomic Data Products
We regularly publish research reports and provide access to current, customizable data.
Data products and reports produced by social sciences research in the Northeast.
Fishery Performance Reports
Commercial Fishing Performance Measures
This interactive product displays trends in key “indicators” of economic and social performance for commercial fishing activity throughout the Northeast region by fishery management plan. Indicators include measures of fishing revenue, effort, prices, fishing activity by community, community profiles, and community resilience. The fishery management plans covered are for species managed by the New England and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils.
Fishing community snapshots provide descriptive community-level information about Northeast fishing cities and towns. Key indicators include landings of commercial and recreational species, community composition, and population demographics. Using this information, the snapshots create a picture of how reliant a community is on marine resources and how vulnerable it is to changes in social and economic conditions.
Landings and revenues from commercial fishing are often presented by port of landing. This set of interactive maps looks at landings and revenues differently, —linking them to where the fish was caught rather than to where it was landed.
Commercial Vessel Cost Data Visualization
Our social scientists have done the same for commercial vessel cost data for three different years across multiple expense categories and gear types. The information is now available in a new, online data visualization tool.
The tool displays data from vessel owner surveys our center conducted in 2011, 2012, and 2015. In 2023, our center will launch a new and improved version of the survey. These surveys are the only direct source of vessel cost data in the region. We need them to develop economic analyses that inform commercial fishing regulations and policies.
Social Indicators of Gentrification Pressure
A storymap showing how gentrification is affecting 29 fishing communities in the northeast United States.
Search by species for prices and quantities of fish sold at each of the three major seafood auctions in the region. Includes daily reporting and weekly summaries of auction prices and quantities sold, August 1, 2012 to December 31, 2018.
Fisheries Performance Measures
Evaluating the Social and Economic Performance of Northeast Fisheries
To measure the performance of U.S. Northeast region fisheries, our social sciences staff initiated a process in 2009 to identify and define socioeconomic performance measures. Previous monitoring occurred on an ad hoc basis, limiting opportunities for cross-fishery comparisons. To identify relevant regional socioeconomic performance measures, we reviewed legal requirements, management objectives, academic literature and reports from non-governmental organizations on management impacts for overall commonalities. A draft set of indicators was developed and vetted by our staff. We asked for feedback from industry leaders, the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and New England Fishery Management Council, staff at the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, academics, and other regional NOAA Fisheries social scientists. In order to integrate input from fishermen and permit holders, we held a number of outreach meetings in the field. Importantly, because crew members are typically underrepresented at public meetings, we initiated a contract with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute to conduct extensive field interviews so we could integrate crew perspectives into the final set of performance measures and indicators.
Our branch’s performance-measure initiative was motivated by a need to evaluate catch share programs, particularly the implementation of sector management in the groundfish fishery, but it will be used to evaluate vessel, fleet, and household earnings, along with crew well-being in all fisheries. So far, we have identified five areas for further inquiry:
- Financial viability
- Distributional outcomes
- Stewardship of marine resources
Northeast Commercial Fishing Business Cost Survey
In September 2016 we asked commercial fishing business owners to participate in a voluntary survey about the costs incurred in 2015 by the business. They could either return a paper copy of the survey by mail or take the survey online. We thank you all the fishing business owners who participated in this important survey about the costs your business faces.
- Information about our 2015 survey (PDF; 2 pages): Download File
- Northeast Commercial Fishing Business Cost Survey for 2015 (PDF; 20 pages): Download File
Commercial Fishing Crew Survey in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic
The Northeast Fisheries Science Center's Social Sciences Branch conducted a survey of crew and hired captains participating in the commercial fishing industry in the New England and the Mid-Atlantic states during October 2012 - September 2013. The survey was conducted in several selected fishing ports from the region. Crew members were approached on the docks and asked to voluntarily participate in a face to face interview. By the closing of the survey, 400 interviews were completed.
Results from the crew survey are summarized in NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-NE-230, An Overview of the Survey on the Socio-Economic Aspects of Commercial Fishing Crew in the Northeast.
Social Capital Survey of Northeast Groundfish Permit Holders
Quota allocations to groups of self-selecting permit holders (known as sector allocations) are increasingly being considered as a way to provide fishermen with greater control and flexibility in their fishing businesses while achieving efficiency gains. This new approach, which devolves substantial management responsibilities to groups of fishermen, represents a potential transformation in the relationship among permit holders as well as the relationship between permit holders and fisheries governance structures. A baseline of existing social capital in the groundfish fishery in the Northeast Region was conducted in 2010 by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. This survey is a follow up on this earlier initiative and will enable researchers to measure the change in the types and strength of relationships between groundfish permit holders in the Northeast. This work will inform our understanding of how best to design collaborative management structures in support of sustainable fisheries in the region and nationally.
- Evolution of Social Capital and Economic Performance in New England Harvest Cooperatives
- Social Capital and the Success of Harvest Cooperatives in the New England Groundfish Fishery
Performance Measure Development
- Measuring the socio-economic performance of catch share programs: Definition of metrics and application to the Northeast U.S. groundfish fishery
- Defining social and economic performance measures for catch share systems in the Northeast U.S. (presented at the annual meeting of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade)