A Florida TaxWatch industry report
Fishing in Florida: A $5 billion dollar business
The economic impact fishing has on Florida.
With more than 2,270 miles of tidal shoreline, more than 11,000 miles of waterways, and year-round weather ideal for outdoor activities, Florida is world-renowned for its recreational fishing. What is less known is the economic impact of all the differing types of fishing activity in our state. Last year, Florida led the nation in total angler expenditures, with almost $5 billion dollars spent, supporting more than 80,200 jobs.1 Of these jobs, more than 14,000 are attributed to freshwater fishing.
Fishing supports jobs in several industries, including retail, boat manufacturing and repair, research, and tourism. In fact, the largest share of fishing expenditures goes to trip-related expenses, including food, lodging, and transportation, which together totaled $2.8 billion dollars in 2011, or 61 percent of all fishing expenditures.2
The fishing industry continues to grow in Florida. According to a 2013 Census Bureau report, fishing days increased by 24 percent in in the state of Florida from 2006 to 2011.
Nationwide, fishing tackle sales have grown more than 16 percent during the past 5 years. That growth is reflected in Florida by the increase in fishing-related retail activity, most notably with the opening of 6 new Bass Pro Shops in the state, adding to Florida’s 6 current stores.
Sportfishing Attracts Tourists
According to the 2013 Census Bureau report and the American Sportfishing Association report, nearly 1.2 million non-residents fished in Florida during the past year.
While some of these visitors came to Florida primarily for sportfishing, others find a way to work fishing activities into business trips or family vacations.
Florida’s expansive coastal environment is home to a wide variety of licensed charter fishing boat options, which are available for individuals or groups to rent all around the state, and Florida annually hosts hundreds of fishing tournaments for locally and internationally competitive anglers.
Additionally, several boating and fishing expos are held in Florida throughout the year. Some of these include the Palm Beach International Boat Show, Miami International Boat Show, The Florida Sportsman Expo, Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, and the Southeast US Boat Show, which attract boaters and anglers from Florida, the U.S., and across the world.