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January 10, 2013

Recipe for Recovery: Go Fish

ASA Report Highlights Angler Contribution to Economy and Conservation

A new report issued by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) verifies that as well as a chosen past time for more than 60 million Americans, recreational fishing represents a significant economic engine in the nation’s economy.

The recently issued fishing statistics report produced by the ASA, “Sportfishing in America: An Economic Force for Conservation,” illustrates both the growth and impact of recreational fishing in the country. 

According to the report some 60 million American anglers spend an estimated $46 billion per year on fishing equipment, transportation, lodging and other expenses associated with their sport. The fishing industry supports businesses ranging from fishing tackle and boat manufacturing, to travel and hospitality including airlines, hotels and restaurants, to publications, websites, magazines and much more.

With a total annual economic impact of $115 billion, fishing supports more than 828,000 jobs and generates $35 billion in wages and $15 billion in federal and state taxes.

If fishing were a company, according to the ASA, the retail amount spent by anglers every year would rank number 51 on the Fortune 500 list.

Recreational fishing generated $48 billion in revenue, more than Lockheed Martin ($47 billion), Intel ($44 billion), Chrysler ($42 billion) or Google ($38 billion).

The report also tracked the growth in the number of anglers over the past five years, which increased 11 percent, and fishing tackle sales, which grew more than 16 percent. When expenditures are multiplied by our nation’s 60 million anglers, these increases have a notable impact on our nation’s economy.

Recreational fishing not only represents an important economic component, but as well, plays critical role in the country’s most successful fisheries conservation efforts.

“As an industry, we are keenly aware of the impact that sportfishing has on this nation’s economy,” said ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman. “And it’s not just the economy. In many ways, America’s anglers are the nation’s most powerful force for conserving our nation’s fisheries and waters, investing more than $1 billion dollars each year in fisheries management and conservation through taxes on fishing equipment and state fishing license sales.”

ASA’s report is based on data from the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, conducted every five years on behalf of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies by the Census Bureau and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Sportfishing in America was compiled for ASA by Southwick Associates, Fernandina Beach, Florida.