Estimating marine recreational fishing’s economic contributions in New Zealand
Economic information is critical for explaining why recreational fishing and marine stewardship is important to all citizens of a nation. Successfully raising public awareness of the importance of healthy and abundant marine fisheries is dependent on having reliable economic insights. These types of data can be used to inform discussions about how to institute better conservation policies, secure new partners and resources for conservation initiatives, and ultimately boost the long-term health and productivity of marine fisheries. Until now, the economic contribution of recreational marine fishing in New Zealand has not been measured, placing recreational fishing interests at a disadvantage compared to the commercial sector that has such information in various forms. This project filled that vacuum. Beginning with the $946 million spent annually by more than 600,000 resident and visiting New Zealand fishers, these dollars circulate through the national economy, supporting 8000 jobs, stimulating $1.7 billion in total economic activity, contributing $638 million in Gross Domestic Product and $342 million in salaries, wages and small business profits while adding nearly $187 million in tax revenues. This study was built using data collection and analytical approaches available for use by other nations to increase public awareness of the critical economic importance of their marine fisheries.