Socioeconomic Assessment

In today's "Information Age," economic research and analysis are vital to the broad approach necessary to address Florida's complex fish-, wildlife- and habitat-related issues.

The Socioeconomic Assessment Office, part of the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, provides decision-makers with an understanding of the economic value, impact, benefits, costs and efficiency measures directly related to the conservation of fish and wildlife resources. Although the primary audience for this information is the Florida Legislature and FWC resource managers, we recognize the importance of communicating economic information to the public as well.

Economics of Fish & Wildlife Recreation in Florida

When a family goes fishing or hunting, buys binoculars to view wildlife, visits a nature preserve, goes boating or visits a seafood restaurant in Florida, it is contributing to the economic prosperity of the state and to jobs. Results from various studies, summarized on this page, show in human terms the value of protecting and managing wildlife.

Economic Impacts of Hunting, Freshwater Fishing, Saltwater Fishing, Wildlife Viewing and Recreational Boating


Category Economic Contribution Jobs
Hunting* $1.6 billion 14,673
Recreational Freshwater Fishing* $1.7 billion 14,040
Recreational Saltwater Fishing** $6.6 billion 96,801
Wildlife Viewing* $4.9 billion 44,623
Recreational Boating*** $10.4 billion 82,752

* 2011 data
** 2015 data
*** 2013 data

Hunting, Recreational Freshwater Fishing and Wildlife Viewing Expenditures

(2011 data)

  Hunting Freshwater Fishing Wildlife Viewing
Participants 242,000 1,227,000 4,308,000
Total Expenditures $716 million $710 million $3 billion
Trip-related $281 million $461 million $1.7 billion
Equipment and other $435 million $249 million $1.3 billion
Average per participant $2,824 $578 $668

Recreational Saltwater Fishing Expenditures (2015 data)

Fishing Goods  Trip Expenditures Equipment Durable Goods Expenditures 
 For Hire 380,057 Fishing Tackle 1,775,011
Private Boat 417,050 Other Equipment 748,622
Shore 223,355 Boat Expenses 4,397,267
Total 1,020,462 Vehicle Expenses 469,238
    Second Home Expenses 71,973
    Total Durable Expenditures 7,462,111
    Total State Trip and Durable Goods Expenditures 8,482,573

Recreational Boating Expenditures (2013 data)

Total Expenditures $10.3 billion



Sources Hunting: Southwick Associates. Hunting in America: An Economic Force for Conservation. Produced for the National Shooting Sports Foundation in partnership with the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. 2012. 

Recreational freshwater fishing: Southwick Associates. Sportfishing in America: An Economic Force for Conservation. Produced for the American Sportfishing Association under a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Sport Fish Restoration grant (F12AP00137, VA M-26-R) awarded by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. 2012.

Recreational saltwater fishing: National Marine Fisheries Service. 2017. Fisheries Economics of the United States, 2015. U.S. Dept. Commerce, NOAA Tech. Memo. NMFS-F/SPO-170.

Wildlife viewing: Southwick Associates. The 2011 Economic Benefits of Wildlife Viewing in Florida. Prepared for Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Recreational boating: National Marine Manufacturers Association. Economic Significance of Recreational Boating in Florida. 2013.

Other Economics Projects

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