June 22, 2015

Sarah Marquis, 949-222-2212

New NOAA report shows significant economic benefits of recreational fishing in California's national marine sanctuaries

Anglers spent approximately $156 million on saltwater recreational fishing in California's four national marine sanctuaries on average, which generated more than $200 million in annual economic output and supported nearly 1,400 jobs, according to a new NOAA report released today. The peer-reviewed report cited data ranging from 2010-2012, the most recent years for which this data is available, from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

father helping son fish over the side of a boat
Mason Nunn visiting from Colorado gets a little help from his dad on a big fish while fishing in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Credit: Sanctuary Classic

The findings highlight the positive effects and economic value of recreational fishing in the four California sanctuaries--Channel Islands, Greater Farallones, Cordell Bank and Monterey Bay--which are managed to ensure the health of our most valued ocean places. Approximately 13.4 percent of all saltwater recreational fishing in California from 2010 to 2012 took place in national marine sanctuaries, the report states. During the study period, the Greater Farallones sanctuary was called the Gulf of the Farallones; it was renamed earlier this month.

"This report underscores the value of national marine sanctuaries as focal points for recreation and local economic development," said Bob Leeworthy, chief economist for NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. "It also highlights the important role sanctuaries play in protecting the health and integrity of critical marine ecosystems, including places cherished by recreational saltwater anglers."

The Economic Impact of the Recreational Fisheries on Local County Economies in California National Marine Sanctuaries, 2010, 2011 and 2012, was produced by the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. Among the findings:

  • Based on a three-year average from 2010 to 2012, the total economic impact from recreational fishing in California national marine sanctuaries--the so-called "ripple effect"--totaled $213.1 million.

  • Communities served by a national marine sanctuary, on average, saw an additional $74.4 million in income to business owners and employees as a result of recreational fishing in the sanctuary.

  • Of the places anglers fish, national marine sanctuaries accounted for 13.4 percent of the total person-days of recreational fishing in California each year on average.

  • Land-based shore fishing in the sanctuaries accounted for an average of 9.9 percent of shore fishing person-days in California; charter and passenger fishing vessels (CPFV) in the sanctuaries accounted for 22.3 percent of all CPFV person-days in California; and private/rental boat fishing in the sanctuaries accounted for 25.8 percent of all private/rental boat person-days in California.

  • Anglers spent $79.7 million on trip-related expenses, with fuel one of the largest expenditures for anglers. Non-residents had higher trip-related expenditures for auto rental and lodging. Anglers spent an additional $75.9 million on durable goods purchases, with the highest expenditures for rods and reels, tackle and boat storage.

The complete California recreational fishing economic impacts study, along with earlier national marine sanctuary socioeconomic reports, can be found at

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