Economic Impact and Value Data Can Be Used to Assess Policy Changes

By Sarah Harrison | AFS Contributing Editor. E-mail: [email protected]

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

Clifford Hutt (Mississippi State University, Human Dimensions and Conservation Laboratory) and his colleagues estimated both the economic impact (the monetary benefits of angling to the regional economy) and economic value (the value of a fishing trip above the angler’s actual costs; their net “willingness-to-pay” for the resource) of recreational fisheries for crappie Pomoxis spp. in Mississippi and showed how this data could be paired with exogenous variables (i.e., reservoir water level, water temperature) to assess the costs of different management actions. In the article, the authors specifically examined how changes in spring water levels affected the number of fishing trips taken, which affected total angler expenditures and economic value. They found that angling effort and economic impact and value peaked at intermediate water levels and declined at both low and high water levels. The authors state that information on the economic benefits of fisheries is important to fisheries management, especially in the face of competing demands and climate change. Research on climate change is too often narrowly focused on biological systems, ignoring fishers and how they respond to a variety of changing economic, institutional, and environmental conditions. This article shows how fishers can be incorporated into analyses and predictions in order to assess policy changes.


Hutt, C. P., K. M. Hunt, S. F. Steffen, S. C. Grado, and L. E. Miranda. 2013. Economic values and regional economic impacts of recreational fisheries in Mississippi reservoirs. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 33:44–55.