Florida is the "Fishing Capital of the World" with more world record fish catches than any other state or country. From an economic perspective, Florida also leads all states in economic impacts for its marine recreational fisheries and has one of the top producing commercial fisheries in the country. Below are several statistics about Florida's recreational and commercial fishing industries and their economic role.
Saltwater Recreational Fishing
- #1 in nation in saltwater anglers (2.4 million) – 2011 USFWS Survey, as compiled by Southwick Associates
- 1,612,102 recreational saltwater licenses sold (resident and nonresident) in fiscal year 13/14
- $29,073,573 in revenue generated from license sales
- Economic impact:
- Florida #1 in angler (fresh and saltwater) expenditures ($4.95 billion)-2011 USFWS Survey information, as compiled by Southwick
- Florida #1 in number of International Game Fish records
- Florida accounts for 14.4% of all current IGFA records
Total Florida Records (including retired records): 4,925
Total Current Records (international): 6,776
Current Records from USA: 3,099
Current Records from Florida: 979
Top Five Countries(current records)
- USA – 3,099
- Australia – 449
- Japan – 343
- Mexico – 262
- New Zealand – 254
Top Five States(current records)
- Florida – 979
- California - 309
- Alaska – 297
- Texas – 143
- Virginia - 123
Saltwater Commercial Fishing
- 12,752 Saltwater Products Licenses sold, 10,939 of which generated revenue for the state totaling $925,000 in license sales - 2012/13 Fiscal Year
- 1,595 wholesale dealers (1 license per person) and there were 5,854 retail dealer licenses sold. - 2012/13 FY
- 10,144 unique SPL holders (for FY 12/13)
The top 4 species in dockside value harvested during 2012 in Florida were:
- stone crab (claws: $25 M),
- Caribbean spiny lobster ($24 M),
- white shrimp ($17.2 M; total food shrimp value all species $36.9 M),
- red grouper ($16.8 M).
2012 Florida commercial landings:
- 235,133 commercial fishing trips caught approximately 93 million (M) pounds of fish, crab, clams (wild harvest only, excludes aquaculture), lobster, shrimp, and other invertebrates worth over $205 M in dockside value.
- Marine life landings (live fish and invertebrates for aquaria and other uses) from 5,897 commercial collecting trips in 2012 amounted to 9.8 M individual specimens worth nearly $3.5 M in dockside value.
From the NOAA Fisheries of the United States 2011 report
- Americans consumed 4.7 billion pounds of seafood in 2011, slightly less than the 4.9 billion pounds the previous year. The United States has surpassed Japan and is now second only to China in seafood consumption.
- The average American ate 15.0 pounds of fish and shellfish in 2011, a decline from the 2010 figure of 15.8 pounds.
- About 91 percent of the seafood consumed in the United States is imported, measured by edible weight, up 5 percent from 2010. However, a significant portion of this imported seafood is caught by American fishermen, exported overseas for processing, and then reimported to the United States.