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Economic Impact of Oregon's Marine Fisheries

Oregon Commercial and Recreational Fishing Industry Economic Activity Coastwide and in Proximity to Marine Reserve Sites for Years 2018 and 2019

Oregon's commercial fisheries generated an estimated $558 million income to the statewide economy in 2019 which is equivalent to about 9,200 jobs. Output is estimated to be $1.2 billion. The previous five-year (2014-2018) average annual income was $581 million with range of $485 million in 2015 to $652 million in 2014. About two-fifths of the income in 2019 is generated by distant water fisheries (such as the West Coast at-sea fishery and Alaska fisheries).

The Oregon commercial fishing industry onshore landings in 2019 were 334.8 million pounds worth $161.6 million in harvest value. The harvest value was a decrease over 2018 ($175.0 million), but was still above the previous five-year (2014-2018) average ($155.0 million).

This report was sponsored by the Marine Reserve Program and Marine Resources Program, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). The information in this report updates information about overall trends in the Oregon fishing industry, and more specifically, describes the nearshore fisheries that would most likely be affected by Marine Reserve management.

Economic Impact of Hunting, Sport Fishing and Wildlife Viewing

Economic SurveyHow important are hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing to Oregon?

A study by Earth Economics produced in partnership with Travel Oregon, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD), Oregon Office of Outdoor Recreation (OREC), and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) found that outdoor recreation in Oregon supported $15.6 billion in spending (including trip and equipment related expenditures). A portion of that spending is generated by participants engaging in fishing, hunting, and wildlife watching activities. Earth Economics' research indicated that in 2019 hunting, fishing and wildlife watching activities accounted for $1.2 billion in spending and supported over 11,000 jobs. The Factsheet below shows the spending on each of these activities at a county level and the impact on jobs, wages, and state and local taxes.

Earlier research conducted by Dean Runyan & Associates in 2008 for Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Travel Oregon analyzed the amount Oregonians and visitors spent on fishing, hunting, shellfish harvesting, and wildlife watching activities. Their research provided findings for fishing, hunting, and wildlife-watching expenditures, both travel-generated and from local recreation, statewide, by travel region, and for each of Oregon's 36 counties. This study also provided trip number estimates for each of the nine travel regions, and travel characteristics at the statewide level.

Additional studies by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) provide information about the number of participants, participation days, trips and spending for hunting, fishing, and wildlife watching throughout the United States. These findings are from the National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation. The most current report of survey results available is from 2022.
Beyond the scope of economic impacts from trip-related spending there are multiple nonmarket benefits that healthy fish, wildlife, and their habitats provide Oregonians. Examples include:

  • Indirect use value: Expanded ecological functional benefits, such as enhanced air/water quality
  • Option value: Benefits in having the choice to enjoy these resources
  • Nonuse values, including
    • Existence value: Benefits in knowing certain species and habitats exist
    • Bequest value: Benefits in knowing future generations will have the opportunity to enjoy these resources.

These benefits, along with trip-generated spending, all contribute to the total economic value of natural resources in Oregon. While nonmarket benefits can be difficult to measure, understanding them and fostering their contributions are important components of natural resources management.

Helpful Reports: Learn more about the economics of natural resources in Oregon!

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