A report released by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and the United Anglers of Southern California (UASC) says that California officials are underestimating the economic impact of proposed sport-fishing bans in the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (CINMS). The ASA/UASC report cites losses of up to $100 million for water- and tourism-based businesses. The most restrictive option under consideration would close more than 40 percent of the sanctuary to fishing. The report says such a closure would eliminate as many as 2,700 jobs and $13 million in tax revenue from California's economy. In order to offset the economic losses based on recreational fishing, which accounts for nearly 80 percent of recreation in the CINMS, other activities, such as whale watching and sailing, would have to increase by 350 percent in the sanctuary. According to an ASA press release, the state officials based their estimates on a 2001 economic evaluation by CINMS officials, which used old angler data and flawed methodology, such as not including purchases of big-ticket items like tackle and boats. For more information or to read the report, visit www.asafishing.org.
September 21, 2007