Socioeconomic Research & Monitoring Program for Monterey Bay

photo of rocks, cliffs and a beach in monterey bay

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary’s 2008 Management Plan includes provisions highlighting importance of socioeconomics to management strategies and activities. An example of specific provisions include Fishing-Related Education and Research.


Starting in 1994, the MBNMS in collaboration with Moss Landing Marine Laboratories began work on a site characterization. This characterization includes information on archaeological, cultural and historical resources; socioeconomic uses; fisheries and marine resources. The need for more information on human interactions with the ecosystem was outlined in the Scientific Research Plan for the MBNMS in 1993.

Download the Socioeconomic and Human Dimensions Need

Download the fact sheet

A "Study Area Profile" describes the on-land areas where most of the socioeconomic impacts of sanctuary resource use take place. Demographic and economic profiles are included by county. The "Study Area Profile" is updated with 2010 data from the U.S. Department of Commerce Census Bureau and Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Download the Study Area Profile, 1990 to 2010

Economic Impact of Commercial Fishing

Commercial fishing is an important industry in the MBNMS. In 2013, a report was completed to assess the economic impacts of commercial fishing on local county economies from catch in the MBNMS. The report includes information on economic impacts, profiles of various fisheries, extent of gear type use, trends in vessels, port dependency and other socioeconomic indicators.  

Economic Impact of Recreational Fishing

Recreational fishing in MBNMS creates value to the local economy. In 2015, a report was completed to assess the economic impacts of recreational fishing on local county economies of MBNMS from 2010 through 2012. The report includes information on economic impacts, expenditures of fishermen and person-days fishing trends by mode of access.