NOAA 2001-R119
Contact: Gordon Helm

Commerce Department Report Finds Northeast Anglers Spent
$4.5 Billion Fishing in 1998

Anglers in the Northeast states from Virginia to Maine spent an estimated $4.5 billion on marine recreational equipment and fishing trips in 1998, according to a Commerce Department report released today. The report's economic details came from an annual survey of anglers interviewed by the department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service.

"Salt water fishing is an important recreational sport and past time for many Americans. Studying the economic impact anglers have on various sectors of the economy will help us better meet their needs," said Scott Gudes, acting undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and acting NOAA administrator.

The report presents average and total expenditures by state for both resident and non-resident anglers. Across all Northeast states, anglers spent $4.5 billion on trip and annual equipment purchases in 1998. Massachusetts, Maryland and New Jersey had the three highest total expenditures, with expenditures of $887 million, $743 million, and $687 million, respectively.

State by state, the total expenditures are:

 Massachusetts  $887,260,000
 Maryland  $743,450,000
 New Jersey  $686,652,000
 New York  $617,542,000
 Virginia  $572,878,000
 Connecticut  $410,983,000
 Delaware  $229,978,000
 Rhode Island  $138,737,000
 Maine  $ 99,899,000
 New Hampshire  $ 68,142,000

"We are committed to improving the information base used by state and federal agencies responsible for fisheries management policy," said William Fox, director of the NOAA fisheries' Office of Science and Technology. "Results from these reports will improve our ability to evaluate the economic and social consequences of alternative management policies on the industries and communities that depend on saltwater angling expenditures."

The agency will further analyze the Northeast numbers to estimate the total economic impact of saltwater angling by state, detailing number of jobs, total economic output, and total personal income generated by these anglers. The information will be used to help fishery managers better understand the economic importance of saltwater angling and make more informed fisheries management decisions.

This report is the first in a series of reports to be released by NOAA fisheries during 2001 and 2002. By the end of the summer, NOAA fisheries will complete the expenditure reports for the Southeast region (North Carolina through Louisiana) and the Pacific Coast (Washington through California). The series of reports will comprise the most comprehensive nation-wide survey of marine recreational fishing expenditures gathered to date.

For more information about this report, "Marine Angler Expenditures in the Northeast, 1998" (NMFS-F/SPO-47), call Mr. Brad Gentner at NOAA fisheries headquarters in Silver Spring, MD (301) 713-2328.

An electronic version of this report is available at

A hard copy of the report can be obtained by contacting the National Marine Fisheries Service, Office of Science and Technology, Division of Fisheries Statistics and Economics, 1315 East West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910.