Economic Impacts of Recreational Fishing

photo of sailboat with person fishing

This report estimates the economic impact of recreational fishing within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS). The methodology applies the IMPLAN input-output model to estimates of total annual expenditures derived by taking estimates of person-days by mode of access (e.g. shore mode, private - rental boat and commercial passenger fishing vessels) from the State of California’s Recreational Fishing Statistics Program and multiplying by NOAA Fisheries’ expenditure profiles by mode of access. The IMPLAN model is then used to calculate output, income, value- added, and employment for the collection of nine counties (study area) where most of the economic impact takes place. Economic impacts are estimated for 2010, 2011, 2012 and the 3-year average. Expenditure impacts are estimated separately for trip expenditures and durable good expenditures. Trip expenditures’ impacts are appropriate for analyzing regulations or other policy/management alternatives that involve small or marginal changes in fishing effort. This report also presents the trends in person–days of recreational fishing by mode from 2004 through 2012.


As part of the Socioeconomic Research and Monitoring Program for the MBNMS, this report supports priorities to document connections between sanctuary resource uses and local, regional and national economies. Using CDFW data, this report addresses the economic impact of recreational fishing on local county economies and the trends of recreational fishing with the MBNMS. Economic data presented is for years 2010 through 2012. Data on trends in fishery profiles is presented for years 2004 to 2012.

Chapter 1: Introduction to MBNMS study area and data used

Chapter 1 describes the study area for this research.  The chapter details the sources of data for this report.  

Chapter 2: Recreational fishing person-days in MBNMS

Chapter 2 focuses on trends in person-days of recreational fishing within the sanctuary. The data is analyzed based on total person-days within the sanctuary by mode of fishing. There are three types of fishing that were analyzed; shore mode, private/rental boat and commercial passenger fishing vessels. Additionally, the data is analyzed based on use of residents and non-residents of the study area.

Download the fact sheet for a summary of recreational fishing trends

Chapter 3: Recreational Fishing Expenditures

Chapter 3 presents and discusses expenditure profiles of recreational anglers in California. NOAA produces estimates of expenditures by person-day based on the three types of recreational fishing and resident status. In addition, the annual expenditures on durable goods are also estimated and discussed by each mode.  

Chapter 4: Market Analysis of Recreational Fishing

Chapter 4 presents the results of the IMPLAN model. These results include total output, value added, income and employment (measured in number of full and part-time jobs) resulting from recreational fishing in the sanctuary. Results are estimated by mode for each year from 2010-2012 and a 3-year average.  

Download the Summary Factsheet on Economic Impacts

Download Report: Economic Impact of the Recreational Fisheries
on Local County Economies in Monterey Bay 2010, 2011 and 2012