WASHINGTON, DC — New Jersey’s commercial and recreational fishing industries ranks among the top 10 nationally in terms of revenues and employment, according to the latest report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

In 2016, both saltwater fishing industries in the state generated a total of $8 billion — $6.2 billion in commercial fishing and $1.8 billion in recreational fishing, placing New Jersey fifth among all states, respectively, in both categories, according to NOAA’s recently released Fisheries Economics of the United States report.

In term of employment, New Jersey accounted for 52,000 of 1.7 million jobs in the United States supported by both saltwater fishing industries — tied with Alaska for fifth place. Broken down by industry, New Jersey’s commercial fishing sector supported 37,000 jobs and the recreational fishing sector supported 15,000 jobs.

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“In 2016, commercial and recreational saltwater fishing in the United States generated more than $212 billion in sales and contributed $100 billion to the country’s gross domestic product,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “These critical industries supported 1.7 million jobs in communities across the country.”

A key piece of the latest report is the jobs, sales, income and value added to the gross domestic product (GDP) by the fishing and seafood industries. This provides a measure of how sales from commercial and recreational fishing ripple through state and national economies as each dollar spent generates additional economic effects.

In a single year, economic impacts from recreational fishing grew across the board.Nationally, 9.8 million saltwater anglers took recreational fishing trips in 2016 — a 9 percent increase in anglers from 2015. Saltwater recreational fishing supported 472,000 jobs, generated $68 billion in sales impacts across the economy, and contributed $39 billion to the GDP— all metrics that increased 7 percent from 2015 measurements, according to the report.

The commercial fishing and seafood industry — harvesters, processors, dealers, wholesalers and retailers — supported 1.2 million jobs in 2016, generating $144 billion in sales and adding $61 billion to the GDP. The domestic harvest produced $53 billion in sales, up 2 percent from 2015, and supported 711,000 jobs across the entire American economy.

Sea scallops had the largest revenue increase in 2016, bringing in $46 million in landings revenue. The domestic lobster industry also performed well, with a $43 million increase in revenue, primarily from the harvest of lobster off the coast of Maine and New England.

Fisheries Economics of the United States 2016 is the 11th volume in an annual series designed to give the public accessible economic information on fishing and seafood in the United States and is a companion to Fisheries of the United States.


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