NC Sound Economy commissioned a groundbreaking study to examine a conservation oriented fishery management strategy for North Carolina. The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES), in collaboration with an economist from University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW), finds the state can take a range of steps to strengthen coastal livelihoods, raise incomes and make coastal communities more resilient.
The researchers ran multiple management scenarios on multiple fish species. There is no one-size-fits-all strategy to conserve and grow fish stocks in order to increase economic benefits. But when the researchers examined the scenarios, they found tremendous potential economic benefits.
If these species are managed for conservation the state could gain a 30-year economic benefit of: $829.7 million dollars; $4.2 billion in total sales; 1,493 additional jobs; and $1.6 billion in labor income. This is in addition to the current level of fisheries related economic benefits.
It is clear the state has an incredible opportunity to restore its status as a premier fishing destination. In addition to benefits to the recreational fishing economy, the struggling commercial sector can be a premier local and sustainable seafood producer.
You may view the full study here.