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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 Boating*** $10.4 billion 82,752
Recreational Freshwater Fishing* $1.7 billion 14,040
Recreational Saltwater Fishing** $6.6 billion 96,801
Wildlife Viewing* $4.9 billion 44,623

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

Hunting, Recreational Freshwater Fishing and Wildlife Viewing Expenditures

Type 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

(2011 data)

Recreational Saltwater Fishing Expenditures

Type Expenditures
For Hire $380,057
Private Boat $417,050
Shore $223,355
Total $1,020,462
Durable Goods Expenditures
Fishing Tackle $1,775,011
Other Equipment $748,622
Boat Expenses $4,397,267
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

(2015 data)

Recreational Boating Expenditures

Total Expenditures
$10.3 billion

(2013 data)


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.

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