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The Economic Impacts of Saltwater Fishing in Florida

Below are several statistics about Florida's recreational and commercial fishing industries and their economic role. 

Recreational Fishing

# of Anglers

  • 4 million Florida anglers: FWC Office of Licensing and Permitting 2017/2018 FWC participant report for all unique freshwater and saltwater licensed individuals including saltwater multiplier from the 2011 National Survey.

 Licensing

  • 2.3 million recreational saltwater licenses sold (resident and nonresident unique license participants) in fiscal year 18/19
  • $37.1 million in total saltwater license sales (FY 18/19)

Economic impact:

  • Saltwater recreational fishing: 9.2 billion*
  • Saltwater and freshwater recreational fishing combined- $11.5 billion*
  • Supports: 88,501* (saltwater only)
  • Supports: 106,000 jobs*  (saltwater and freshwater combined)                                                             

(Source: American Sportfishing Association and Southwick Associates, based on USFWS 2011 survey data updated to 2018 using FWC-OLP’s license trend data plus inflation data)*

Records

IGFA

Florida #1 in number of International Game Fish records

  • Total Florida Records (including retired records): 4,629
  • Total Current Records (international): 6,797
  • Current Records from USA: 2,816
  • Current Records from Florida: 925

Top Countries(current records)

  1. USA – 2,816
  2. Australia – 523
  3. Japan – 464

Top States(current records)

  1. Florida – 925
  2. Alaska – 322
  3. California - 314

Saltwater Commercial Fishing

Licensing

  • More than 12,000 Saltwater Products Licenses issued, generating revenue for the state totaling over $1,000,000 – 2019/20 Fiscal Year (SPL only, does not include RS or MS)
  • Over 9,700 individual commercial saltwater fishers with Saltwater Products Licenses 2019/20 FY 
  • More than 1,700 wholesale dealer licenses issued (1 license per person) generating more than $940,000 and there were over 7,000 retail dealer licenses sold generating over $375,000 in revenue. – 2019/20 FY

Economics

  • $2.22 million in commercial food fish sales (dockside value) - FWRI commercial landings data 2019
  • Florida's commercial fisheries generate $3.2 billion in income and support 76,700 jobs. - NOAA, Fisheries Economics of the United States, 2016

 Landings Data

The top 4 species in dockside value harvested during 2019 in Florida were:

  • Shrimp ($52 M)
  • Stone crab ($34 M)
  • Spiny lobster ($32 M)
  • Blue crab ($14 M)

2019 Florida commercial landings:

  • 80 million pounds of commercial food fish landings worth over $222 million in dockside value - FWRI Commercial Landings Data 2019

Updated November 2020