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NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-AFSC-299

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Costs, earnings, and employment in the Alaska saltwater sport fishing charter sector, 2011-2013

Abstract

This report describes the development, design, testing, and implementation of the Alaska Saltwater Sport Fishing Charter Business Survey, a survey that collects baseline economic information from the saltwater sport fishing charter businesses in Alaska. The survey was administered for three consecutive years (2011-2013) to collect annual costs, earnings, and employment information of sport fishing charter businesses. Descriptive statistics of the samples of item respondents are presented, as well as population-level estimates of key variables that are adjusted for missing data using sample weighting and data imputation methods.

The adjusted population-level results suggest that in 2011 the Alaska saltwater sport fishing charter sector as a whole operated at a loss, but in 2012 and 2013, as the population of charter businesses shrank, the sector yielded an overall profit. The analysis examines sector-level trends and is a first attempt to provide a basic understanding of the economic conditions in the charter sector leading up to the implementation of the Alaska halibut catch sharing plan (CSP) implemented in 2014. The 3-year period leading up to the CSP implementation saw slight changes in employment and spending patterns by the charter businesses that remained in the fishery. This includes a shift to decreasing the amount spent on charter trip expenses and cash investments in vehicles, machinery, equipment, buildings and real estate. At the same time, average revenues increased. To better understand the effects of management changes on costs, earnings, and employment, business-level models should be developed.  


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