Economic contributions of pelagic fishing tournaments in Hawaii, 2018
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Economic contributions of pelagic fishing tournaments in Hawaii, 2018

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    In 2018, The Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC) conducted a study to obtain a more complete picture of non-commercial (recreational) fishing in Hawaii by surveying pelagic fishing tournaments across the state of Hawaii and assessing the economic contributions of these tournaments. Tournament fishing in Hawaii occurs year-round, drawing in local participants and visitors (non-residents) to the state. Depending on the tournament, participant anglers can spend significant amounts of money on these tournaments, which include costs associated with fishing trips such as fuel, bait, and gear, as well as tournament entry fees, travel, and lodging. Hawaii pelagic fishing tournaments are diverse, from low-cost and charity-driven, to jackpot-style big-money prize tournaments.

    This report examines the results from the 2018 Hawaii fishing tournament survey. Operating costs and revenues were obtained from tournament operators, and participants were asked about their expenditures, trips, and demographics. Average operating costs for fishing tournaments are presented as well as angler expenditures. The economic contribution of fishing tournaments in Hawaii was estimated through an economic contribution analysis using IMPLAN.

    The information presented in this report can help identify how tournament fishing supports the local economy and provides insights into the disposition of tournament catch. This analysis serves as a baseline for future economic studies, and provides an economic and social profile of pelagic tournament fishing in Hawaii. It can also help fishery managers evaluate economic impacts to fisheries and the businesses that depend on them from regulatory decisions, changes in ecosystem conditions, or changes in target species abundance. While tournament fishing may be considered a smaller part of the broader economy, economic contribution analyses such as this one provide vital information for considering the non-commercial fishing industry’s economic contributions to local and regional economies.

    This study is part of a continuing effort across the National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) to gather more economic data on recreational fishing. A similar study currently under review for publication recently surveyed Highly Migratory Species (HMS) anglers and fishing tournaments in the Atlantic, and estimated the associated economic contributions (Hutt and Silva, 2019). In 2018, an analysis was conducted to estimate the economic contributions of charter fishing in Hawaii (Rollins and Lovell, 2019). The 2017 Fisheries Economics of the United States report features information on the expenditures of recreational fishing in the United States, including Hawaii. It also includes estimates on the economic contribution of recreational fishing activities by state, for different fishing modes (private boat, shore fishing, and charter fishing).

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