“An Economic Heavyweight”

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National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and Agency Fisheries released a study showing that recreational fishing is “a far greater force” in the United States than their previous evaluations had indicated.

Angler trip expenditures totaled $10.5 billion in the United States, according to the 2017 Economic Contribution of Marine Angler Expenditures on Fishing Trips.

That’s more than double the $4.3 billion figure from the 2016 report.

The huge increase in the recreational angling economic footprint is mostly attributed to the new Marine Recreational Information Program revealing far more angler trips than previous estimates.

“The recreational angling community has long believed that NOAA Fisheries was significantly underestimating the economic vitality of saltwater recreational angling and this latest report is at last a vindication of that,” said Center for Sportfishing Policy president Jeff Angers in a statement.

“It has been apparent that NOAA doesn’t have true grasp of all the information needed to make informed decisions on the proper management of our marine resources,” said Angers. “There are still significant pieces missing from the economic realities of saltwater angling that will paint a still more robust picture, but this data speaking so loudly is an encouraging sign that our arguments are finally being heard.”

Saltwater angling trips contributed 167,000 jobs, up from 66,000 in 2016 and generated $24 billion in total sales, up from $10 billion in 2016.

The excursions also added $14 billion to Gross Domestic Product, up from $5.1 billion in 2016, and contributed $7.9 billion in income to the economy, up from $3.1 billion in 2016.

“Not only has the number of angler trips gone up, but the base expenditure per trip has finally been updated as well. The end result is that NOAA Fisheries is finally acknowledging that saltwater recreational fishing is an economic heavyweight,” said Angers. “We are excited that we are finally getting the information necessary for the federal fisheries management system to recognize the social and economic impacts of recreational fishing.”