Assessing the Economic Impact of Fisheries in Rhode Island

Dr. Tom Sproul from the University of Rhode Island explains the importance of the RI Fisheries Economic Impact Survey  and solicits survey participation from RI fishing business owners. To fill out the 5 minute survey, visit


Please take 10 minutes to fill out the business survey at will need your business’ gross revenue and employment records for the last three years to complete the survey. Your survey response will be 100% confidential and your data will not be shared with any third party or government agency. After the survey is completed, members of the fishing industry will be able to access aggregate data summaries tailored to their interests. 

It is essential that all RI fishing businesses participate in this survey, so that the economic assessment is accurate!

Please Join Us to learn more!

The CFRF will be holding a Research Session in Point Judith (meeting room above Superior Trawl) on Tuesday, November 14, 2017, during which Dr. Tom Sproul, Professor at URI, will describe the purpose of the project, the need for survey participation by fishing businesses, and the expected outcomes. Please RSVP to by November 1st. 


project description:

The CFRF in partnership with the University of Rhode Island has undertaken a project which seeks to assess the economic impact of the fishing industry in the state of Rhode Island, with the ultimate goal of expanding policymaker and stakeholder awareness of RI's valuable natural resources. In addition to evaluating the revenue and jobs associated with fishing businesses in RI, the project will also identify opportunities for growing the state's green economy.

Project Team:

  • Dr. Anna Mercer, CFRF Executive Director
  • Dr. Tom Sproul, URI Professor

Project Goals and Approach:

The primary goal of the project is to determine the direct economic impact of the fishing industry in the state of Rhode Island, including revenue and employment. The project also seeks to determine the indirect spillover effect into other industry sectors by the fishing industry in the state of Rhode Island, and to identify specific opportunities for growth within Rhode Island's fishing sector. To reach these goals, the project will involve a robust survey program, analysis of business databases, statistical modeling, report preparation, and public outreach geared towards completing the following specific objectives;

  1. Characterize the commercial fishing industry in Rhode Island to better understand the work force needed for growth.
  2. Assess the geographic distribution of fisheries sector businesses in Rhode Island and the availability of local seafood to consumers.
  3. Identify issues that are inhibiting the growth of the fishing industry sector in Rhode Island and develop solutions to correct and promote growth
  4. Foster working relationships among fisheries stakeholders, academics, and policy makers
  5. Identify gaps in economic and workforce data to direct future studies

This project is supported by: