The Economic Value & Impact Of The MA Recreational Wild Striped Bass Fishery

The attached analysis, based on published data from l\IOAA, shows that the recreational fishery for wild striped bass (WSB) is one of the most economically valuable in the state, rivaling the MA scallop fishery in its economic impact on the economy of the Commonwealth of MA.

  1. In its annual direct spending effects, the MA recreational WSB fishery is on average worth 130 times the dollar value of annual commercial WSB fishery landings in MA.
  1. In its annual direct spending effects, the MA recreational WSB fishery totals, on average over the most recent ten years from 2006 to 2015, fully 77 percent (ranging from 70% to 120%) of the worth of commercial landings for the entire MA seafood industry.
  1. In its full economic impact, the MA recreational WSB fishery amounts to an annual average of 36 percent (ranging from 27 to 44 percent) of the full economic impact of the entire MA seafood industry during the 10 year period from 2006 to 201

The analysis shows that the MA recreational WSB fishery, rather than being just a playground for the idle rich (as it is too often portrayed), is one of the most important marine fisheries in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in its spending and economic impact on the MA state economy. Even in its current state of depletion, this fishery rivals the MA scallop fishery in its economic contributions. Were the MA recreational WSB fishery managed for recreational abundance as a game species, rather than being commercially overexploited for a minimum value, the economic significance of this fishery would increase in impact by as much as – if not more than – $1.7 billion per year on the MA economy (based on applying angling expenditures per trip in 2015 to the peak year’s number of angling trips in 2007).

The results suggest that the MA recreational WSB fishery ought to be managed for its maximum economic contribution and value as an exclusively recreational fishery by declaring striped bass a game species in Massachusetts coastal waters. This strategic shift would allow this important fishery to be managed for conservation and abundance, assuring us of a healthy recreational sport fishery in MA for many years to come. Massachusetts could once again become known as “the place to go” for great saltwater fishing as a worldwide tourist  angling destination.

Contact: Frederic B. Jennings Jr., Ph.D.

Center for Ecological Economic and Ethical Education (CEEEE) Post Office Box 946, Ipswich, Massachusetts 01938-0946 Email: ecologicaleconomics@yahoo.com

Phone (messages only): 1-978-356-2188

 

PRESS RELEASE: ………………………………19 April 2016, for immediate release.

 

Contact: Frederic B. Jennings Jr., Ph.D.

Center for Ecological Economic and Ethical Education

P.O. Box 946, Ipswich, MA 01938-0946 Email: ecologicaleconomics@yahoo.com

 

NOAA DATA SHOW THE RECREATIONAL FISHERY FOR WILD STRIPED BASS IS ONE OF THE MOST ECONOMICALLY  IMPORTANT  MASSACHUSETTS FISHERIES

 

Revelations: Recent analyses of NOAA data reveal surprising insights into the relative worth of the MA recreational and commercial wild striped bass (WSB) fisheries. Based on information provided by NOAA, the MA recreationally-allocated  portion of the WSB fishery is, on average,  130 times more economically valuable than the commercial component of this fishery. NOAA data also show that sport fishing for WSB in MA is the Commonwealth’s  most economically  important marine recreational fishery.

When compared to other MA commercial fisheries, NOAA data show that the value of the commercial portion of the MA WSB fishery on average represents only 0.37 percent (1/270th) of the value of all MA combined commercial landings. This ranks WSB as one of the least commercially valuable fish in the Commonwealth. NOAA numbers clearly show that the far greater economic value of WSB is realized in their recreational use and not as a massively-undervalued commercial commodity.

This analysis, based entirely on NOAA data, shows the recreational WSB fishery to be so economically important to the Commonwealth that it vies with the most valuable commercial fishery on the entire east coast: the MA scallop industry. Surprisingly, the NOAA data reveal that the MA recreational WSB fishery is on a par with the MA commercial scallop fishery as the two most economically valuable fisheries in the Commonwealth!

Consequences: NOAA data unquestionably show that the current management policy of dividing WSB allocations between recreational and commercial use is costing the MA state economy over $1 billion per vear in unrealized economic gains with an associated loss in jobs and state tax revenues. The data also show that in order to realize the greatest return from this fishery, it needs to be managed for recreational abundance, and not commercially exploited for a much smaller commercial value.

CHOICES: NOAA’s data clearly define the relative economic importance of the currently divided MA WSB fishery. The question now ought to focus on what those responsible for its management will do once the full economic value of this fishery is recognized.

Potential: NOAA figures clearly show that if striped bass stocks were protected from commercial exploitation and managed exclusively for abundance as a recreational resource, the dollar value of the MA WSB fishery has the potential to more than double or triple, with an added potential economic impact of $1.5 billion per year for the economy of the Commonwealth.

Summary: This analysis of NOAA’s figures suggests that MA would be wise to re-think our fisheries management policies with regard to this unique and valuable resource.

 

Explanation of FBJ Analysis of Economic Losses from Declining Striped Bass Trips in MA

Frederic B. Jennings Jr., Ph.D. – 19 April 2016

 

The attached analysis reveals the economic importance of the MA recreational wild striped bass (WSB) fishery. The spreadsheet has three tables showing that the direct annual spending effects of the MA recreational WSB fishery range from 70 to 120 percent (with a 10-year average of 77 percent ) of the value of annual commercial landings for the entire MA seafood industry! When the full economic effects of these two sectors are compared, the annual impact of the MA recreational WSB fishery averages over 35 percent ofthe whole MA commercial fishing industry, with a range of 27.4 to

  • percent over the last 10 These results show that the MA recreational WSB fishery is by far one of the most important marine fisheries in this state, perhaps rivaled only by the MA scallop fishery in its full economic impact.

Table One shows the annual recreational catch of WSB in MA from 2006 to 2015 (with the percentage loss therein relative to the peak catch in 2006). The next three lines show the same annual data for recreational WSB fishing trips in MA (compared to the peak in 2007). Then angler expenditures  per trip are shown for each year, based on NOAA data from 2006 to 2012 (extrapolated for subsequent years using regional Consumer Price Index [CPI] data). The number of WSB trips are then applied to expenditures per trip to derive total angler expenditures per year on WSB fishing trips and related equipment for 2006 to 2015. The next line shows similar data for the total economic impact of recreational WSB angling in MA, while the final two lines in Table One show the economic value and impact per fish caught in each year. Finally, the last three columns in the lower half of Table One compare the actual 2015 annual WSB recreational spending and impact (per year and per fish) to what it would be with the number of WSB angling trips seen in 2007 and in 2014.

Table Two then summarizes this last comparison between 2015 actual data with what it would have been with the number of WSB angling trips in 2007 and 2014 to show implied losses in direct expenditures attributable to declining recreational WSB catches and trips of over $550 million in the 8 years since 2007, and of over $230 million in just one single year alone. The annual losses in full economic impact during those two periods are much larger: respectively, these annual losses are $1.7 billion and $700 million. In sum, had the MA WSB fishery been managed to maintain its abundance at 2007 or 2014 levels, its 2015 spending and economic impact would have been higher by 149% or 62%. These economic losses translate directly into significant annual job and taxable revenue losses for the state’s economy.

Table Three compares the size and economic importance of the MA commercial and recreational WSB fisheries thus:

  • In poundage, the commercial WSB fishery averages less than 37% or 1/270th of total MA commercial landings.
    • In dollar value, the commercial WSB fishery on average lands 66% or 1/150th of total MA commercial landings.
    • Direct recreational WSB spending averages annually over 130 times the value of MA commercial WSB
    • In its annual spending effects, the recreational WSB fishery is generally worth 77% of all MA commercial
  • In its economic impact, the recreational WSB fishery is on average worth 36% of the entire MA seafood

BOTTOM LINE: The spending effects and full economic impact of the MA recreational WSBfishery with respect to its role in the state’s economy (and thus on jobs and tax revenues) – makes it one of the most important MA fisheries. With a healthy WSB fishery – managed for conservation and abundance – the economic impact of the MA recreational WSB fishery would double or triple, becoming worth far more than the current value ofthe entire MA seafood industry.

The relative economic value and impact of the MA commercial WSB fishery is quite trivial when compared with the value of the MA recreational WSB fishery, with a negligible economic contribution to our state’s economy. Making WSB a gamefish, and ending the wasteful commercial harvest of this valuable sport fish, should have a major positive impact on the MA state economy by allowing the WSB fishery to recover from its currently depleted state, with a potential economic impact of $1.7 billion per year (as shown in Table Two). We need to rethink our approach to the management of this extremely valuable fishery in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Respectfully submitted,

TABLE ONE: REVENUE IMPACT OF DECLINING WILD STRIPED BASS RECREATIONAL FISHING TRIPS COMPARED TO THE COMMERCIAL FISHERY IN MA FROM 2006 TO 2015

Year                                  2006 2007 2008  

2009

 

2010

 

2011

Recreational Catch of WSB in MA, 2000-201S 8,124,766 5,646,880 4,027,374 2,627,003 2,012,483 1,228,699
% of WSB Caught relative to Peak Year in 2006 100.0% 69.5% 49.6% 32.3% 24.8% 15.1%
% of WSB Catch Shortfall relative to Peak In 2006                                 0.0%                                  30.5% 50.4% 67.7% 75.2% 84.9%
Recreational WSB Fishing Trips in  MA, 2000-2015 2,816,805 3,014,182 2,829,096 2,157,200 1,967,823 1,560,356
% of MA W5B Trips relative to Peak Year in 2007 93.5% 100.0% 93.9% 71.6% 65.3% 51.8%
% of MA WSB Trip Shortfall relative to Peak In 2007 6.5%                                 0.0%     6.1% 28.4% 34.7% 48.2%
CPI data for Boston – Brockton area (1984=100) 223.1 227.4 235.4 233.8 237.4  

243.9

Total Angler Expenditures per WSB trip $158.44 $157.18 $167.16 $182.84 $179.73 $256.63
Total Economic Impact per WSB trip $439.01 $436.51 $435.46 $543.22 $524.13 $856.93
Total WSB Angler Expenditures per Year $474,469,149 $503,908,721 $472,901,651 $394,423,592 $353,682,900 $400,435,647
Total WSB Economic Impact per Year $1,236,601,585 $1,315,731,912 $1,231,960,517 $1,171,835,300 $1,031,401,652 $1,337,122,766
Economic Value/Fish of Recreational WSB Caught $58.40 $89.24 $117.42 $150.14 $175.74 $325.90

Full Economic Impact/Fish of Recreational WSB Caught                                                                                                                                   $152.20                          $233.00                           $305.90                           $446.07                          $512.50  $1,088.24

———– ————— ——————————————————

Year !continued)                                                                                                                        2012                                                                             2014                201S Prellm Est            201S w  2 07 d ta              2015w 2 14data

 

Recreational Catch  of  WSB In MA. 2000-2015 1,367,440 1,989,972 2,103,549 1,683,598 5,646,880 2,103,549
% of WSB Caught relative to Peak Year in 2006 16.8% 24.5% 25.9% 20.7% 69.5% 25.9%
% of WSB Catch Shortfall relative to Peak in 2006 83.2% 75.5% 74.1% 79.3% 30.5% 74.1%
Recreational WSB Fishing Trips In MA, 2000-201S 1,650,954 1,761,750 1,959,099/ 1,209,079 3,014,182 1,959,0991
% of MA WSB Trips relative to Peak Year in 2007 54.8% 58.4% 55.0% 40.1% 100.0% 55.0%
% of MA WSB Trip Shortfall relative to Peak In 2007 45.2% 41.6% 35.0% 59.9% 0.0% 35.0%
CPI data for Boston – Brockton area (1984=100) 247.7 251.1 255.2                           256.7                                 256.7                                  256.7                           
Total Angler Expenditures per WSB trip $271.94 $275.58 $287.87 $311.51                           $311.51                          $311.51
Total Economic Impact per WSB trip $905.23 $918.55 $931.18                      $930.16                           $930.16                          $930.16                      
Total WSB Angler Expenditures per Year $448,956,873 $485,673,302 $563,970,271 $376,635,947 $938,937,233 $610,272,039
Total WSB Economic Impact per Year $1,496,147,129 $1,618,257,430 $1,824,281,404 $1,124,635,113 $2,803,667,017 $1,822,272,593
 

Economic Value/Fish of Recreational WSB Caught

 

$328.32

 

$244.06

 

$268.10

 

$223.71

 

$166.28

 

$290.12

Full Economic Impact/Fish of Recreational WSB Caught $1,094.12 $813.21 $867.24 $668.00 $496.50 $866.28

 

TABLE TWO: ABSOLUTE AND PERCENTAGE LOSSES IN MA SALES AND ECONOMIC IMPACT DUE TO DECLINING RECREATIONAL STRIPED BASS TRIPS FROM 2007 AND 2014 TO 2015

 

2007-201 5 Decline 2014-2015 Decline
Absolute decline in MA expenditures from WSB fishing $562,301,287 $233,636,092
Absolute decline in MA economic impact from WSB fishing $1,679,031,905 $697,637,481
% Increase in 2015 value with earlier year’s number of WSB trips 149.3% 62.0%

 

 

TABLE THREE· THE RELATIVE SIZES OF THE MA COMMERCIAL AND RECREATIONAL WSB FISHERIES WHEN COMPARED TO EACH OTHER AND THE ENTIRE MA SEAFOOD INDUSTRY

 

YU!: 2007 2009
Total WSB pounds  harvested commercially in MA 1,212,846 1,099,942 1,322,291 1,039,337 1,160,360 1,134,279
Total pounds of all commercially landed MA species 337,602,600 337,304,359 396,868,554 304,773,813 326,632,236 356,096,114
Dockside worth of commercially landed MA WSB $2,002,487 $2,306,486 $3,163,669 $2,741,321 $3,551,660 $3,024,907
Total Dockside Value of All MA Commercial Landings $325,937,069 $427,332,481 $586,291,095 $420,004,320 $399,821,686 $400,469,082
Total MA Seafood Industry Economic Impacts, 2006 – 2014 $3,343,831,000 $3,236,006,000 $3,142,393,000 $3,146,062,000
Commercial WSB as a % of all comm. species (in lbs) 0.36% 0.33% 0.33% 0.34% 0.36% 0.32%
Commercial WSB as a % of all comm. species (In $) 0.61% 0.54% 0.54% 0.65% 0.89% 0.76%

 

 

Recreational WSB Expenditures as a Proportion of the Value of Commercial WSB Landings (in $) 149.97 183.82 133.15 130.39
Economic Value: MA Recreational WSB Spending as a % of All MA Commercial Landings (In $) 80.9% 120.0% 118.3% 98.5%
Economic Impact: MA WSB Recreational Impact as a % of All MA Seafood Industry Impacts (in $) 37.0% 40.7% 39.2% 37.2%
 

Year (continued)

 

2010

 

2011

 

2012

 

 

1,004,468

 

2014

Totals 2004-2!!14
IS data 2006-2014)
Total WSB pounds harvested commercially in MA 1,221,209 1,162,469 1,218,485 1,138,518 12,714,204
Total pounds of all commercially landed MA species 283,024,538 264,990,802 296,036,502 262,256,154 274,186,184 3,439,771,856
Dockside worth of commercially landed MA WSB $3,567,426 $3,183,749 $3,504,686 $3,130,000 $4,834,387 $35,010,778
Total Dockside Value of All MA Commercial Landings $478,691,363 $571,582,916 $616,466,446 $565,739,019 $525,124,164 $5,317,459,641
Total MA Seafood Industry Economic Impacts, 2006 – 2014 $3,763,570,000 $4,451,734,000 $4,869,701,000 $4,428,806, 745 $4,110,859,180 $34,492,962,925
Commercial WSB as a % of all comm. species (in lbs) 0.43% 0.44% 0.41% 0.38% 0.42% 0.37%
Commercial WSB as a % of all comm. species (in $) 0.75% 0.56% 0.57% 0.55% 0.92% 0.66%
Recreational WSB Value + Commercial WSB Landings 99.14 125.77 128.10 155.17 116.66 133.49
MA Recreational as a % of MA Commercial Fisheries ($) 73.89% 70.06% 72.83% 85.85% 107.40% 77.07%
MA Recreational as a % of MA Commercial Impact ($) 27.40% 30.04% 30.72% 36.54% 44.38% 35.55%

 

———————————————————————-

A Brief Bio of Frederic B. Jennings Jr., Ph.D.

Fred Jennings is a woefully overeducated native of Ipswich, MA, with a B.A. degree in economics (magna cum laude) from Harvard College and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in economics from Stanford University. He has taught economics at Tufts University and Bentley College and has over 30 years of experience as an economic litigation consultant and expert witness in economic damages in a wide variety of industries and applications.

Fred is president and founder of EconoLogistics (consultants to business and law, started in 1992) and of the Center for Ecological Economic and Ethical Education (CEEEE, started in 1998), and is a part-time saltwater fly fishing guide under the name of Peak Dawn Anglers (started in 1995). Fred has his own unique approach to most of what he does in both his fishing, fisheries conservation work and his economic research. He has written and published many academic papers on his economic ideas (including 8 essays in the recently published SAGE Encyclopedia of Economics and Society), and has been the subject of multiple news and magazine articles about his methods of light-tackle motorless fly fishing for striped bass in the estuarial waters of Ipswich.

Fred’s work in fisheries conservation and his research as an ecological economist are primarily concerned with the impact of myopic behavior on economic growth and development and on ecological health, especially in fisheries management applications. We humans are fully dependent upon the viability and functionality of our ecological life support systems, though we often treat them as if they were infinitely resilient and adaptable despite our willful and ongoing but unsustainable abuse thereof. Fred maintains a positive outlook and his good sense of humor in the face of these deep and abiding concerns…

Category: Featured, News Updates · Tags:

CONTACT INFO

Stripers Forever
209 Winn Road
Falmouth, ME 04105
stripers@stripersforever.org

ABOUT US

Welcome to the official web site for Stripers Forever, an all-volunteer organization dedicated to making the striped bass a gamefish. By eliminating commercial exploitation of the #1 recreational saltwater fishery on the east coast, over 3,000,000 recreational anglers will enjoy the social and financial benefits that will come from an improved striped bass population.

MISSION STATEMENT

Stripers Forever advocates for the conservation and responsible stewardship of wild striped bass along the Atlantic Coast.

Stripers Forever, a non-profit, internet-based conservation organization, seeks game fish status for wild striped bass on the Atlantic Coast in order to significantly reduce striper mortality, to provide optimum and sustainable public fishing opportunities for anglers from Maine to North Carolina, and to secure the greatest socio-economic value possible from the fishery.

close
Facebook IconYouTube IconTwitter Icon