Think recreational anglers aren’t an economic force? Think again.
A report released this month by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) makes a powerful case that from an economic perspective that recreational fishing is just as important as commercial fishing despite a much lower overall impact on the resource. According to the report, recreational anglers harvested just two percent of the total saltwater take compared to ninety-eight percent caught by the commercial fishing industry. (To read full study click here.)
Among the findings are:
- Saltwater fishing by recreational anglers contributed three times more to the national gross domestic product (GDP, or value-added) than commercial landings.
- The recreational sector added $152.24 in value-added, or GDP, for one pound of fish harvested, compared to the commercial sector’s $1.57 for a single pound of fish.
- Within the jobs market, the recreational sector made up fifty-four percent of all jobs, both recreational and commercial. This amounts to 455,000 recreational jobs compared to 381,000 on the commercial side.
- For every 100,000 pounds landed there were 210 recreational fishing jobs but only 4.5 jobs in the commercial fishing industry.
ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman noted, “ We’re not releasing this report in an effort to demean commercial fishing. Commercial fishing is very important to our nation’s economy! Our goal is to highlight the importance of recreational fishing to the nation.”