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The Value of The Recreational Fishery

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    Posted: 10 July 2018 at 12:32pm
A 2010 NCDMF report, A SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC SURVEY OF RECREATIONAL SALTWATER ANGLERS IN NORTH CAROLINA, by Scott Crosson, Ph.D. found that in 2008-


The impact of saltwater fishing trips on North Carolina’s economy for 2008 is shown in Table 7.  The DMF collects data about recreational fishing in conjunction with the federal government’s Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey (MRFSS).5  Multiplying the trip count estimates6 for various fishing modes from 2008 with the average estimated expenditures for each of those modes in Table 6, and the mean reported costs of charter and pier fees, the total expenditures are estimated at $943,929,472 for 7,093,359 trips.7

These numbers are comparable to the most recent economic impact estimates from the National Marine Fisheries Service’s published The Economic Contribution of Marine Angler Expenditures in the United States 2006. That report estimated the total sales impact of trip related expenses in North Carolina at $947,097,000 for 7,247,000 trips.  In this report, we estimated a total sales impact of $943,929,472.  The NMFS report estimated average expenditures at $98/trip.8  Comparable numbers for this report are estimated at $133/trip.  Average trip expenditures likely differed due the different time periods during which the two surveys were conducted (NMFS-2006, DMF-2008).  
 
Using these data, the total economic effects (output) from recreational angling in North Carolina are estimated at over $1.6B (Table 7).

The estimated $1.6 billion economic impact attributed to recreational fishing trip expenditures is a significant contribution to the coastal economy, particularly during a time when other economic engines such as development have declined.

NOAA released the revised recreational statistics yesterday-


Today, NOAA Fisheries released revised Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) catch and effort estimates (1981-2017) as part of its recent transition from the Coastal Household Telephone Survey (CHTS) to the new, mail-based Fishing Effort Survey (FES). The agency also released preliminary estimates based on the FES for 2018 wave 1 (Jan. – Feb.). The release of the revised estimates marks an important milestone in our scientific program’s efforts to improve recreational catch and effort data

So...What do NC recreational trips look like with the new and improved data?

You can do your own querying here-

Below is the revised angler trip data showing recreational effort-




The recreational total economic value (number of trips) is 3X to 5X what was originally thought!

The NC recreational fishery is worth $5 to $8 BILLION!

...and DMF can't put a Fiscal Note value on the benefit of the NCWF Petition for Rule Making to the recreational sector because of the "unknowns"!

Hell....let's say it protects just 1% of the recreational value by creating a sustainable shrimp trawl fishery that protects the critical habitat nursery areas for juvenile spot, croaker, weakfish, southern flounder, summer flounder, bluecrab, oysters, etc.

A highly conservative 1% benefit =  $50 to $80 million dollars.

There, I did it for them and can't be far off the absolute bottom of the LOWSIDE!


Edited by Rick - 10 July 2018 at 3:15pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 July 2018 at 11:52am
So, let's look at a subset of the data above- coastal fishing piers.

Boy do I remember fishing with my father and grandfather on the Emerald Isle Fishing Pier back in the early 1960s. 

In the 2012 NCDMF report,  A Social and Economic Profile of Ocean Fishing Piers in North Carolina, DMF employee John Hadley found that NC Ocean Fishing Piers created an annual economic impact of $152-million.


The total estimated economic impact to the state economy of ocean pier fishing trips is approximately $151.7 million.  This fishing activity supported 1,746 jobs and led to over $48 million in labor income.  According to the model, the industries most affected were lodging, amusement and recreation, food and beverage, gasoline, real estate, sporting goods, wholesale trade and commercial fishing (bait).      This estimate is based on the total number of ocean pier trips taken in 2010 and the average expenditures per fishing trip obtained from the survey.  The Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) estimates coastal recreational fishing effort throughout the year in North Carolina.  According to MRIP data, in 2010 anglers took 1,186,293 ocean pier fishing trips.  This led to $138,855,638 in estimated total trip expenditures.


This old photo shows the economic benefit of a strong "spot run" on a central coast fishing pier-

 

The lowly and "ubiquitous" Spot! 

Spot was not included in NC's nursery area classification studies.  Juvenile abundance of spot was considered so "ubiquitous" in the 1970s and early 1980s during designation of critical habitat nursery areas that inclusion would have "designated all internal waters as important nursery areas".

“Spot was omitted because it is so ubiquitous in the nursery areas of the Pamlico Sound estuarine complex that its value in creating station groupings was minimal.”  Classification of Pamlico Sound Nursery Areas:  Recommendations for Critical Habitat Criteria- Project No. 89-09, Elizabeth B. Noble and Dr. Robert J. Monroe, NC Department of Environment, Health and Natural Resources, Division of Marine Fisheries, February 1991


What did the Hadley study find as one of the two most important species to pier profitability?
Additionally, the top five species that anglers indicated targeting off of ocean piers were spot, bluefish, flounder, Spanish mackerel and sea mullet.  This closely matches the species that pier operators felt were most important to their business, which were spot and sea mullet, followed by bluefish, flounder and king mackerel.

What did Handley's research show was the greatest concern of ocean pier anglers?
Overfishing was of great concern to both parties, as it was often expressed that recent runs of certain commonly targeted species were not as strong as they had been historically.  The most common species mentioned was spot, where anglers often said that both size and quantity have diminished.

What was the conclusion of Hadley's study?
Continued preservation and expansion of coastal fish stocks is also vital to the long term sustainability of ocean pier businesses.  The estimated $151.7 million economic impact that can be attributed to ocean fishing piers is a sizable and noteworthy contribution to the state economy of North Carolina.  These impacts are largely felt in coastal communities, which is particularly important during a time when other economic engines such as real estate and development have slowed.  With the majority of respondents indicating that the sole purpose of their trip to the coast was to go pier fishing, it is clear that these fishing sites represent an important draw to coastal communities and serve as popular sources of recreation for anglers of all ages and backgrounds. 

The graph below shows recreational angler Spot landings in NC.  We have lost this fishery! 



Commercial landings confirm the demise of Spot-



What doesn't NCDMF get?

Today, why can't NCDMF look at their own studies and data to determine the potential long-term value of recovered recreational fisheries when they could value those fisheries in 2010 and 2012?

What is blindly obvious and missing within the NCWF Petition for Rule Making draft fiscal note's 171-pages of listed "unknowns", cherry-picked studies and obfuscations are two very simple facts. 


1- These fisheries, if rebuilt, are worth $100s of millions of dollars to the citizens of NC and our coastal communities.

2- If spot, croaker and weakfish were assessed at the state level, reducing juvenile discards in the shrimp trawl fishery is the only place you are going to get any meaningful reductions in total catch- targeted landings + discards in the directed and non-directed (bycatch) fisheries. The populations of all three species, all with truncated age structures, have fallen such that targeted commercial fisheries are a small fraction of the past, or closed.

The Fiscal Draft obfuscated about natural mortality from spiny dogfish, striped bass and bottlenose dolphin predation, population shift due to the multidecadal oscillation and the benefit of plowing our state's undesignated critical habitat estuarine nursery bottoms. 

Truly, where are you going to get any reductions needed for re-building these stocks if not by reducing non-directed discards (bycatch) in the shrimp trawl fishery?

The latest stock assessments for both Croaker (2017) and Spot (2017) found-

The majority of annual removals for Atlantic Croaker were discards from the shrimp trawl fishery... Annual discards from the shrimp trawl fishery ranged from 82,040 to 513,801 metric tons with a long term mean of 179,873 metric tons.  Shrimp trawl bycatch accounted for 81‐99% of annual Atlantic croaker removals and averaged 91.6% of all removals

All major sources of removals of Spot were thoroughly described including: discards in the shrimp trawl fisheries, commercial landings, and recreational harvest.  Discards from the shrimp trawl  fisheries accounted for 31-70%  of annual removals, commercial landings for 10-40% most years, while recreational harvest typically 
accounted for approximately 10% each year.  The remaining sources of fishery removals were typically 5% or less of total
annual removals over the last 20+ years (e.g., scrap fishery).

You surely are not going to get the reductions needed for recovery from the directed commercial fisheries.  Those fisheries are suffering from years of mismanagement.







Edited by Rick - 12 July 2018 at 8:10am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 23Mako Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 July 2018 at 4:24pm
I don't think the Good Lord created a finer fish than a spot. Good eating, plentiful (or used to be), and super fun to catch eating some nabs and drinking an ice cold coke. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TomM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 July 2018 at 9:25pm
Big yellow bellys has a buttery taste

Edited by TomM - 11 July 2018 at 9:26pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kshivar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 July 2018 at 9:10am
Great memories of spot runs. My grandson will have to settle for pinfish. Keep shrimping boys. You’ll eventually get all of them too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote themoose Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 July 2018 at 12:29pm
The problem is... the value of the recreational fishery is distributed across a lot of people, who don't see the immediate financial impact of catching fish (ie: one fish = one dollar). It is harder to quantify and doesn't cause the direct visceral feeling that confirms it... While the commercial fisherman can clearly demonstrate that relationship (the more he catches, the more money he generates for himself and the economy).

This means that the rec market is fragmented, and less likely to donate to the politicians who manage the fishery than the commercial group. They are more focused, and play the donation and political game directly.




Edited by themoose - 12 July 2018 at 12:29pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 March 2019 at 9:39am

In a conversation yesterday a friend and stalwart supporter of the resource said-  

The loss of the spot fisheries has touched 100's of thousands of fishermen in NC.  They are vanishing along with that cultural experience.  My children don't even know what spot run is!

How can we ever hope to regain that fishery without dealing with trawl discards?


The latest data-




...and of course the problem-






Edited by Rick - 27 March 2019 at 9:41am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 23Mako Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 March 2019 at 9:42am
But ole downeaster said the reason why no one wants to catch spot anymore is because men's wives don't want to stink up their house frying fish! LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 March 2019 at 10:26am


A Social and Economic Profile of Ocean Fishing Piers in North Carolina- January 2012, Prepared by John Hadley Socioeconomics Program Manager North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries 













What happens when the state fails to protect critical habitat nursery areas and important finfish stocks?





What happens when private enterprise can no longer make a profit due to that the lack of preservation and expansion of those important finfish stocks?

See below-

The state has to spend millions of dollars building and operating "fishing piers".  

Where are the Republicans on this?  It makes zero sense.

Healthy abundant stocks benefit everyone.



Jennette’s Pier features a pier house for events, marine life exhibits and classrooms, and a 1,000-square-foot concrete pier expected to outlast even the strongest of hurricanes.

The first state-funded and operated fishing pier in North Carolina will open Saturday in the same location where a privately owned pier was almost lost to redevelopment and hurricanes.
Keeping the name Jennette’s Pier, it features a 16,000-square-foot pier house for events, marine life exhibits and classrooms, and a 1,000-square-foot concrete pier expected to outlast even the strongest of hurricanes.
The $25 million project in Nags Head is the first of three proposed public piers to be built, owned and operated by the N.C. Aquariums, a division of the state’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
The second planned pier in Emerald Isle on Bogue Banks is in design phases, and the third one proposed for Carolina Beach is on hold because of state budget cuts.
Officials say the mission is to ensure lasting access for ocean fishing and to promote ethical fishing methods through education.

“Rebirth”

During a private tour offered Thursday to the media and others, aquarium officials repeated messages of education, public access and green energy they say are unique to the pier.
Beyond the pier house, three triple-bladed wind turbines sit atop 90-foot towers on the pier and generate about half the electricity needed to power the facility. Solar panels generate electricity to power the pier lights at night.
There are aquatic tanks inside the pier house and shaded huts along the pier with graphic panels featuring information about marine life and culture. The real gem, an upstairs event room, offers expansive ocean views, a covered porch with rocking chairs and a gas fire place.

Pier Manager Mike Remige calls it a rebirth of the old Jennette’s Pier, built in 1939 by the Jennette family.
At that time it was 740 feet long and cost $6,000.

Weathered by hurricanes and sitting on land that could be redeveloped, the pier took a toll on its owners. Plans were for a developer to build a hotel there, but the town cried out for someone save it, Aquariums Director David Griffin said.
The nonprofit N.C. Aquarium Society, which raises money to support the three aquariums, purchased the pier in 2002 in response.
But a year later Hurricane Isabel destroyed 540 feet of it.

With strong legislative support, the N.C. Aquariums division began rebuilding the pier with a new look and purpose.
It was paid for by a combination of funds, including $9.3 million from all three aquariums’ admission receipts – a fund that will be transferred to operate the aquariums if looming budget cuts are passed in the state’s budget – and $10.5 million in funds slated for stormwater projects, essentially taxpayer dollars from the state’s budget.

Jennette’s Pier’s operating budget is about $877,000 to pay eight permanent staff salaries, temporary staff and other expenses. Griffin said goals are for the pier to be self-sustainable and, like any business, to rake in more money than it costs to operate.

Local impact
Garry Oliver, who owns the Outer Banks Fishing Pier a few miles down the beach from Jennette’s Pier, is worried competing with the state pier will ruin his business.
Griffin said a primary goal in building the state pier was making sure it didn’t undercut nearby privately owned piers. Jennette’s Pier will charge $12 a day for fishing, a little higher than the $9 Oliver charges at his pier.
But the state pier isn’t charging people who don’t want to fish, something Oliver is worried about since he charges $1.50, similar to other piers’ fees.

Remige said the state pier also will not sell beer, something fishermen are used to finding at other piers. But the state also will not check coolers or prohibit anyone from bringing alcohol, he added.
While the local fishing pier owners in Nags Head are concerned, nearby businesses welcome the boost in business.

Lauren Gornell, manager of the longtime Sam and Omies Restaurant across the street from Jennette’s Pier, said workers in town for the project have already given her reason to extend the restaurant’s hours.
“I think it will bring more people to the area,” she said.

She appears to be right, at least about people flocking to Nags Head for the weekend opening of the pier. Many local hotel representatives said their hotels were booked for Saturday night.
And with the state of privately owned fishing piers declining because of storms and redevelopment opportunities, pier officials say Jennette’s Pier will offer lasting opportunities for tourism.
Remige said the current concrete structure will last 75 to 100 years.

“I’m very confident this will survive any storm we might have,” Remige said.

Meanwhile, officials in Carolina Beach and Emerald Isle are hoping the state’s hazy budget clears so they can decide how to move forward with their plans.




Edited by Rick - 27 March 2019 at 10:30am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 April 2019 at 11:53am

So, what games are being played here?

Any?  None?

Is 2010 to 2016 an "apples to apples" comparison?

If not, why not.  Doesn't it benefit everyone to track Effect over time?

Is DMF trying to downplay the importance of the recreational fishery?  

They do have a Commercial Fishing Resource Fund study approved to update the value of NC's commercial fishery. It will be interesting to see how that plays out.

Has poor fisheries management cost the state of NC $800-million in annual recreational economic impact over a six year period?

Keep in mind that neither report accounts for the new 2x to 5x increase in effort shown in the new MRIP data model.

New report is showing an economic total Effect at 50% of what it was in the 2010 Crosson report.

Please note the employment numbers-

The old report- (Crosson 2010)


The new report- 












Edited by Rick - 24 April 2019 at 12:18pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Glacierbaze Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 April 2019 at 2:18pm
I don't think that "economic impact" has nearly the effect on a politician's sensory receptors as does the word, "JOBS".  They will spend ten times what a job is worth just to say that they created jobs for their constituents, so perhaps we should emphasize coastal job creation, rather than just economic impact.

edit to add: "as has been said above"


Edited by Glacierbaze - 24 April 2019 at 2:20pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chriselk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 April 2019 at 7:00pm
Rick,
Those are pretty depressing numbers.

But they preceded the info I posted earlier, that is the 2016 data does not reflect the subsequent current decline.  Those declines between 2010 and 2016 occurred prior to the current administration, so while we cannot blame them for that, we look forward to actions to reverse this trend.

The above comments are my personal opinion and do not represent those of any organizations or agencies I may be a member of.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 April 2019 at 11:12pm
Chris-

I agree 100% that your graph shows continued decline since the 2016 study. It would be interesting to see updated economic data for the period. I hope the Division doesn’t wait another seven years to provide it.

I disagree that the “current administration” isn’t accountable for the decline from 2009 until 2016.

Please tell me which members of senior staff currently employed by the Division did not “manage” this decline. Please tell me which responsible senior staff members have been demoted or fired.

Edited by Rick - 24 April 2019 at 11:16pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chriselk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 April 2019 at 6:03am
Rick,
I guess it's all about expectations.  I would rather see a robust plan going forward than retribution for past sins.

And no, I haven't seen demotions/firing of senior staff.  But remember, such firings could be labeled as "political" with the occupants of the Governors chair changing so often.  I don't favor politics in fisheries management/conservation-something that ought to be bipartisan. But thats not how things work, is it?
The above comments are my personal opinion and do not represent those of any organizations or agencies I may be a member of.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 April 2019 at 7:22am
Who said anything about retribution? How about just a little accountability!  This is a question of competence, collusion and conflicts of interest. Correction and trust going forward doesn’t appear to be the current charted course.

As I’ve said many times- fisheries management in NC is a political science. Nothing has changed.


Edited by Rick - 26 April 2019 at 8:06am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 April 2019 at 11:04am

Chris' chart-





Edited by Rick - 25 April 2019 at 11:04am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chriselk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 April 2019 at 12:03pm
Upon further examination of the chart years 2010 and 2016, I dont see the drop in effort that would reflect/result in revenue drop reported by the DMF studies..  Perplexed. Change in methodology?
The above comments are my personal opinion and do not represent those of any organizations or agencies I may be a member of.
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