Huge leap for South Florida’s marine industries

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The Marine Industries Association of South Florida released a new study on the boating business’s economic impact on the region. The last study, also conducted by Thomas J. Murray and Associates, was released in 2014.

MIASF said in a statement that the industry has seen steady growth in such categories as economic output, marine-related sales and job numbers during the last five years. Phil Purcell, CEO and president of MIASF, presented the results at a member business luncheon yesterday in Miami.

“We know the marine industry is a powerhouse here in South Florida, but it’s important that we routinely have an economic impact study conducted to confirm the numbers and offer insight into trends that we can then share within the industry and with the community and our elected officials,” Purcell said.

The study showed that the industry’s economic output has increased from $11.5 billion to $12 billion. South Florida marine sales of $2.979 billion represented more than 44 percent of the state’s total marine sales, up 36.3 percent since the last study. Sales were up 124.6 percent in Miami-Dade County, 24.9 percent in Broward County and 19.7 percent in Palm Beach County, according to an executive summary of the report.

Regional job numbers increased by nearly 6,000 for a total of 141,788.

“With outdoor recreation comprising 2 percent of the U.S. GDP, and recreational fishing and boating representing half of that, it’s evident that we need to continue to protect and support our working waterfront while subsequently offering a meaningful career path for skilled trade professionals,” Purcell said.

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