Vol. 10 No. 2 / Commercial Fishermen in Mississippi and Alabama
Your Extension Experts
August 4, 1995
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In this issue, Dr. Posadas describes the economic contribution of commercial fishing in Coastal Mississippi and Alabama counties. Coastal Mississippi consists of three counties, namely: Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson Counties, while Coastal Alabama includes Baldwin and Mobile Counties. The commercial fishing businesses contributed $79.3 million and $39.0 million to the gross regional products of Coastal Mississippi and Alabama regions, respectively. Businesses were adversely affected by the lingering impacts of the man-made disaster associated with the prolonged and twice opening of the Bonnet Carre spillway from February to April and May to July 2019. The long-term economic impacts of the man-made disaster to these fishing businesses will take some time to assess. Instead, some benchmark data about these businesses during the past five years are presented.
Posadas, Benedict C. Economic Contribution of Commercial fishing in Mississippi and Alabama Gulf Coasts. Mississippi MarketMaker Newsletter, Vol. 10, No. 2. February 11, 2020. http://extension.msstate.edu/newsletters/mississippi-marketmaker.
Commercial fishing is represented by NAICS Code 11411 (Fishing). This industry “comprises establishments primarily engaged in the commercial catching or taking of finfish, shellfish, or miscellaneous marine products from a natural habitat, such as the catching of bluefish, eels, salmon, tuna, clams, crabs, lobsters, mussels, oysters, shrimp, frogs, sea urchins, and turtles” (NAICS, 2020).
The industry employed an average 958 fishermen and owners of commercial fishing units in the three Coastal Mississippi Counties from 2014 to 2018. However, the number of jobs created by the industry increased to 1,068 jobs in 2019. In Coastal Alabama Counties, the number of jobs in the industry averaged 849 persons from 2014 to 2018 as compared to the 846 jobs in 2019.
The combined wages, salaries, and proprietor earnings of all the QCEW employees, non-QCEW employees, self-employed, and extended proprietors in the three Coastal Mississippi Counties increased from $31,610 in 2014 to $48,859 in 2018. Higher combined wages, salaries, and proprietor earnings were observed in Coastal Mississippi, averaging $38,412 per year during the past five years as compared to Coastal Alabama.
In Coastal Alabama, the combined wages, salaries, and proprietor earnings of all the QCEW employees, non-QCEW employees, self-employed, and extended proprietors in the two coastal counties increased from $21,568 in 2014 to $31,976 in 2018. On average, the five-year combined earnings in the industry averaged $29,182 per person.
The 2020 industrial overview released by EMSI (2020) showed that among workers and owners in the three Coastal Mississippi Counties, 91.3 percent were male. About 8.7 percent of the workers and owners were female. In Coastal Alabama, a similar distribution of workers and owners by gender was reported, 91.4 percent were males and 8.6 percent were females.
The recently industrial overview released by EMSI (2020) showed that workers and owners in the three Coastal Mississippi Counties averaged 48 years old. Almost 14 percent of the workers and owners are 65 years old and above. The 55-64 years old consist of 29.2 percent. The 45-54 years old workers and owners added 21.6 percent of the total. Over 12 percent belonged to the 35-44 years old age group. More than 23 percent of the workers and owners are below 35 years old.
In Coastal Alabama, the workers and owners were slightly older averaging 49 years old. More than 14 percent of the workers and owners are 65 years old and above. About 33 percent belonged to the 55-64 years old age group. The 45-54 age group comprised of over 18 percent. The 35-44 age group added almost 11 percent. The younger age group below 35 years old comprised almost 23 percent.
The newly released industrial overview (EMSI, 2020) also categorized workers and owners by race or ethnicity. More than 71 percent of the workers and owners in Coastal Mississippi are White, followed by American Indian or Alaska Native (8.5%), and Asians (7.7%). The remaining workers and owners are Black or African American (6.6%), Hispanic or Latino (3.5%), two or more races (1.9%), and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander (0.1%).
In Coastal Alabama, almost 75 percent of the workers and owners are White. American Indian or Alaska added nine percent to those who commercially fish. Asians consisted of almost seven percent who commercially fished. The rest of the commercial fishermen consisted of Hispanic or Latino (4.8%), Black or African American (2.8%), two or more races (1.8%), and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander (0.2%).
If you need an online database of local commercial and recreational fishing and fishfarming business, you may use the search tool in Mississippi MarketMaker or other state MarketMaker programs. Also, in MarketMaker you can see active listings of of buy and sell forums for buyers, sellers, products and more.
There are 476 “fishery: fish/shellfish/seafood” businesses in the United States which registered their business profiles in MarketMaker. The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources website lists the different saltwater fishing licenses issued to recreational and commercial fishermen in Mississippi (MDMR, 2020). A similar list is found at the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources website (ADCNR, 2020).