Written by Jen Finn
LANSING — The Department of Natural Resources' Fisheries Division recently released data from its 2012 state-licensed commercial fishing season. An often overlooked component of Michigan's world-class fisheries resources, state-licensed commercial fisheries in 2012 caught 3,762,000 pounds of fish with a dockside value of $4,087,000 prior to processing, marketing and retail sale.
"Commercial fishing in the Great Lakes is one of the oldest uses of the lakes and brings rich fisheries resources in the form of protein to the public's dinner tables," said Tom Goniea, DNR commercial fisheries biologist. "The total store value of the state-licensed fishery is worth nearly $20 million to Michigan's economy and supports an estimated 300 fishing and fishing-related jobs."
Currently, Michigan's state-licensed commercial fishery consists of 50 licenses authorized to fish throughout the Great Lakes. It is important to note this fishery is non-tribal; data from tribal commercial efforts will not be available until late summer of 2013. Of the 50 authorized licenses, 32 were actively fished in 2012 by 22 state-licensed commercial fishing businesses. Twelve businesses operate in Lake Huron, five in Lake Michigan, three in Lake Superior, and two in Lake Erie.
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