Northeast Commercial Fishing Cost Survey


Last month NOAA Fisheries sent out letters and emails to federally permitted commercial fishing vessel owners in the Northeast Greater Atlantic region requesting them to participate in the Commercial Fishing Business Cost Survey for 2022. This survey is only done every few years and the information gathered plays an important role in all aspects of fisheries management.


NOAA Fisheries uses this data to:


  • Develop economic analyses that inform commercial fishing regulation and policies to better meet the requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and National Standard 8
  • Better understand the effects of regulations on commercial fishing businesses and communities
  • Track trends in business costs over time
  • Evaluate the economic performance of fishing fleets
  • Better understand profitability of fishing fleets
  • Expand the new cost survey data visualization tool, which vessel owners can use for business planning


There are four ways individuals can take this survey:




take the survey



Mailed Paper Copy 


You can call or email staff to request a paper copy of the survey.


Greg Ardini, Economist


Office: (508) 495-4710




Samantha Werner, Economist


Office: (508) 495-4733




Phone or Virtual Interview


New this year you can also contact the same staff leads above to schedule a time to do a phone or online interview.



Survey Timeline


The online, telephone, and virtual surveys end July 31st and all paper surveys must be postmarked by July 31st.



Examples of What Information Will Be Collected


The commercial fishing business information collected will all be from the 2022 calendar year. Examples of specific expenses include:


  • New/upgraded fishing gear
  • New/upgraded safety equipment
  • Fuel
  • Bait
  • Ice
  • Vessel insurance premiums
  • Permit(s)
  • Mooring fees
  • Workshop or storage
  • Association fees
  • Business vehicle use
  • Leasing quota and days at sea (if applicable)



All participation and individual responses to the survey are confidential.


All the information in this article and more can be found here:



I hope any Northeast Greater Atlantic Region permit holders that are reading this will take the time to at least check out this survey. The survey is estimated to take approximately 60 minutes to complete but looking at my survey, I think it could be done a bit quicker if you had all of your tax information sitting in front of you. My personal survey for gillnet gear is only 24 questions and most of the value boxes in the survey correspond with specific itemized expenses already in my tax program. 


Getting an accurate account of the economic footprint created by commercial fishing businesses is one of the best ways we can show how important this industry is to the overall economy. The latest report from NOAA shows that commercial fishing in the United States generates $165 billion annually across the broader economy. Some of that valuation of our industry would not be available without participation in this survey.


As always if you have any questions, comments, or concerns we are always here ready to help.


Thomas Newman 

Fisheries Liaison



There is some fish activity in the General Assembly!

Senator Norman Sanderson is one of the sponsors of S-617, “Regulatory Reform Act of 2023”. The bill includes a section, “Fisheries Reforms” concerning  “A prohibition on the following with respect to any species of coastal or marine finfish which is overfished or experiencing overfishing, except in times and areas where harvest is allowed under rules of the Commission or proclamations of the Director of the Marine Fisheries Commission…”

It obviously should read Director of DMF, but you get the drift.

It would prohibit any fishing tournament targeting overfished species, the targeted catch of the species or sale of services of fishing guides targeting the species.

There’s more to it than that, so I suggest you click on the link. The bill was referred to the Senate Ag Committee.

To read the bill, go here:

Also, Rep. Ed Goodwin sponsored H-617, “River Herring Limited Harvest” with co-sponsors Howard Penny and Bill Ward. It will be assigned to a committee today.

The bill can be found here:

God bless,