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Economic Contributions of Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Anglers and Tournaments

December 04, 2019

An analysis of the economic contribution of private recreational fishing trips and tournaments targeting highly migratory species in 2016.

In 2016, NOAA Fisheries conducted two studies to collect data on expenditures associated with Atlantic highly migratory species (HMS) recreational fisheries: 

  • A survey of Atlantic HMS Angling permit holders. 
  • A survey of HMS tournament operators and participants.

Tournament trips were estimated to generate $37.5 million before tournament registration fees. Tournament operators were estimated to have brought in approximately $38.4 million in revenue against total costs of $32.4 million plus $2.5 million in charitable donations.

Tournament participants also directly contributed an additional $3.9 million in charitable donations.   

Economic Impact of Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fishing Tournaments.png


Non-tournament HMS recreational fishing trips were estimated to generate over $46.7 million in total annual expenditures. 

Combined, these expenditures are estimated to have contributed over $232 million in total economic output to the U.S. economy, including $72 million in household income, and supported 1,404 jobs. Taken together with recent assessments of the HMS for-hire recreational fishing sector and durable goods purchases by HMS recreational anglers for HMS fishing, the total annual economic contribution of HMS recreational fishing to the U.S. economy is estimated to be over $510 million.

Last updated by Office of Sustainable Fisheries on 09/03/2020