The Rhode Island Commercial Fishing Industry – Development of a Profile


  • NOAA Award # NA10NMF4720480

  • PROJECT DURATION: 2010 – 2011


Project Team:

  • Cornell University Cooperative Extension Marine Program
  • Emerson C. Hasboruck
  • John Scotti
  • Emerson G. Hasbrouck
  • Jacqueline Stent

Purpose of Research Project:

The purpose of this research project is to develop, in a timely manner, an up to date profile of the Rhode Island commercial fishing industry that characterizes all fishing sectors (finfish, shellfish, crustaceans), including the harvesting and processing capacity of the industry, support businesses, the people engaged in this livelihood, the communities dependent on fishing, and the overall significance of the commercial fishing industry to local, state, and regional economies to better inform decision-making connected with economic development, potential buy out programs, marine spatial planning initiatives, infrastructure investments, and community planning, particularly waterfront development.

Project summary:

Focusing on the state of Rhode Island and its commercial fishing industry, the project is intended to serve as a pilot study that will uncover a basic methodology for using information to characterize the industry (economically, socially, and in relation to the resources it is dependent on) that could, in turn, be applied to other states in the northeast region to develop a broader regional commercial fishing industry profile. The process of pulling together data from a variety of sources including state, regional, and federal regulatory agencies will also serve to foster longer term working relationships among people stationed at these different levels of government, and will hopefully be a first step towards coordinating data collection efforts for the commercial fishing industry. Through the process of synthesizing data, data gaps will also be identified, and this too will serve in directing and coordinating future data collection efforts.

The CFRF will serve in an administrative capacity for the overall project, with the selected Project Research Team acting as a sub-award recipient. In this capacity, the CFRF staff will also work to facilitate a working relationship between the Project Research Team and key state, regional, and federal fishery management agencies, and RI fishing community leaders, and will serve as support staff to the Project Steering Committee. Oversight of the project will be carried out by the Project Steering Committee, comprised of representatives from the commercial fishing industry, RI Senate policy office, RI Department of Environmental Management, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the RI Economic Development Corporation, and the CFRF Board of Directors. The selected Project Research Team will be compile and synthesize designated information, develop a set of written documents, in accordance with guidelines to be issued by the CFRF, and participate in education/outreach activities to share findings of project research with stakeholders and interested others. 

Related Documents:

Project Summary Document

final project report