U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) last week hosted U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo for an industry roundtable on the Gulf Coast’s blue economy.
Center for Sportfishing Policy president Jeff Angers attended the event, held at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Aquarium, along with business-development leaders and representatives from the research, fishing and agricultural communities; local elected officials; and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.
“We thank Secretary Raimondo for spending time with us on the Gulf Coast, the epicenter of recreational fishing, and we thank Sen. Wicker for inviting anglers to a seat at the table today,” Angers said in a statement. “As a former coastal governor, Secretary Raimondo truly understands the importance of recreational fishing to the economy and the need for public access to healthy marine resources, which drives that economic activity.”
NOAA Fisheries reported that in 2017, the nation’s 9.2 million saltwater anglers contributed $74 billion to the economy, supporting 487,024 jobs. In Mississippi, saltwater anglers support nearly 5,200 jobs and spend $625 million each year.
“After meeting Secretary Raimondo today, I am encouraged by her willingness to work with state fishery managers who are very valuable partners in conservation and management,” Angers said.