Effective fisheries management not only relies on biological information about the resource, but also on social and economic information about fishermen (commercial and recreational) and other stakeholders. Economic information can include information on prices, costs, market dynamics, economic performance, and economic impacts. Social information can include demographics, individual and community well-being, community dynamics, and cultural importance. For many managed fisheries, social and economic information is not available or is only anecdotal, making it difficult to incorporate this information into the fishery management decision-making process.
The Commission has initiated several activities to improve the way social and economic information is incorporated into the decision-making process. These activities are guided by the Commission’s Committee on Economics and Social Sciences, which is composed of state, federal and university economists and social scientists. Specific activities focus on the following: