Keywords: economic trends, USA, United States, commercial fisheries, fisheries management, overfishing
The status of USA's commercial fisheries and management and crystal-balling the future
Despite the enormity of the commercial fishing industry of the USA, the structure of the industry and various interactions are not known on a national basis. The US public wants seafood, but current domestic production capabilities appear to be inadequate to support the growing demand for seafood. Imports, particularly aquacultured products, are increasing and expected to further increase in the future. Many of the major species have been identified as being overfished or experiencing overfishing. Federal management is moving from single-species to multispecies to ecosystem-based fisheries management. In this paper, we present economic performance trends of US fisheries. We note a trend of declining landings and ex-vessel values between periods reflecting two major management regimes. We also provide an overview of the potential changes in the management regimes or recognition of a very slow adoption of market-based solutions and movements away from command-and-control regulations.