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NOAA report details economic benefits of fishing in California sanctuaries

NOAA said in a new report that anglers spent about $156 million on saltwater recreational fishing in California's four national marine sanctuaries, on average, generating more than $200 million in annual economic output and supporting nearly 1,400 jobs.

The peer-reviewed report cited data ranging from 2010 to 2012, the most recent years for which data were available from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

NOAA said the findings highlight the positive effects and economic value of recreational fishing in the four California sanctuaries — Channel Islands, Greater Farallones, Cordell Bank and Monterey Bay — which are managed to ensure their health.

About 13.4 percent of all saltwater recreational fishing in California from 2010 to 2012 took place in national marine sanctuaries, the report said. During the study period, the Greater Farallones sanctuary was called the Gulf of the Farallones; it was renamed earlier this month.

"This report underscores the value of national marine sanctuaries as focal points for recreation and local economic development," Bob Leeworthy, chief economist for NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, said in a statement. "It also highlights the important role sanctuaries play in protecting the health and integrity of critical marine ecosystems, including places cherished by recreational saltwater anglers."

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