NOAA: US fishing sales grew in 2012


Sean Murphy, SeafoodSource online editor

Published on
April 29, 2014

A new report from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows American commercial and recreational saltwater fishing income grew in 2012, the continuation of what one NOAA expert said is an ongoing upward trend.

Alan Risenhoover, director of NOAA fisheries office of sustainable fisheries and Rita Curtis, an economist with NOAA’s fisheries office of science and technology, presented the report in a teleconference with reporters on 29 April, along with a companion report describing the status of fish stocks off the U.S. coasts in 2012.

According to the report Fisheries Economics of the United States 2012, commercial and saltwater fishing generated more than USD 199 billion (EUR ) in sales in 2012, which is a gain of 7 percent over 2011. Curtis said sales were down in 2006, when NOAA first began tracking the data, but in recent years sales have been more and more positive.

“We see a common trend upward as the economy has recovered,” she said.

Risenhoover said the other report, Status of U.S. Fisheries 2013, celebrates the value of “science-based determinations.” According to that report, he said, seven stocks were removed from the “overfishing” list, meaning their populations were in danger, while four more were removed from the “overfished” list, which lists stocks that are too low.

Several other stocks were added to the list, Risenhoover said, but many of those stocks had “unknown” status before being classified.

When asked about the prospects of stocks in areas that had been hard-hit with quotas, such as New England, Risenhoover said “We are putting rebuilding plans in place.”

Risenhoover said the report shows evidence that rebuilding plans work, citing two species — Southern Atlantic Cost black sea bass, and Sacramento River fall Chinook salmon — which he said have rebuilt in part due to the rebuilding plans in place for each.

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