Saltwater Fishing: Nearly a $200 Billion Industry

According to a report from the NOAA’s Fisheries Service, U.S. commercial and residential saltwater fishing generated more than $199 billion in sales, which helped support 1.7 million jobs in 2011.

Fisheries Economics of the United States 2011 is an annual report conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The report is published on a two-year lag in order to allow enough time for data collection, analysis, and peer review. It provides economic statistics on U.S. commercial and recreational fisheries and marine-related businesses for each coastal state and the nation.

“Commercial and recreational fishing are integral parts of the nation’s social and economic fabric,” said Sam Rauch, deputy assistant NOAA administrator for NOAA’s Fisheries Service. “While there’s still work to do, to see landings and value climb in 2011 shows we’re moving in the right direction, even in this time of challenging transition for many fishing communities.”

The annual report breaks down the sales impacts, income impacts, and job figures for each coastal state. The five states that generated the most jobs from fishing in 2011 were California, Massachusetts, Florida, Washington, and Alaska. The states with the most growth in the number of commercial fishing jobs compared to 2010 were Alabama, Mississippi, Oregon, Louisiana, and Alaska. The greatest portion of the nation’s landings revenue generated by the commercial fishing industry was in Alaska ($1.9 billion), followed by Massachusetts ($433 million), and Maine ($381 million).

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