Economic Impacts of Fishing in the USA

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Fishing, hunting, and outdoor recreation contribute an estimated $730 billion to the U.S. economy each year, according to a 2011 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service study. The report marks the first time that USFWS economists have analyzed the economic contributions of the nation’s fisheries programs.

The report, Conserving America’s Fisheries, An Assessment of Economic Contributions from Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Conservation, shows that each dollar invested in the Service’s Fisheries Program, combined with its partners, generates about $28 in economic contributions and value.

The study found that the fisheries program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in association with state agencies and other conservation organizations, contributes $3.6 billion to the nation’s economy and supports 68,000 jobs across the country; one in twenty U.S. jobs are in the recreation economy.

According to the study, a total of 68,000 American jobs are associated, directly or indirectly, with fisheries conservation programs and projects. Employment opportunities occur at sporting goods stores, marinas, guides and outfitter services, boat dealerships, bait shops, gas stations, cafes, hotels, and other enterprises.

The report also shows the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Fish Hatchery System generates $900 million in industrial output and $550 million in retail sales. National Fish Hatchery programs generate 8,000 jobs and $256 million in salaries and wages.

Meanwhile, the National Fish Passage Program works with partners to reopen an average of 890 miles of river habitat annually, which has a economic value of $483 million and supports 11,000 jobs. That is more than $542,000 in economic benefit per stream mile restored.

The Service’s Fisheries Program plays a vital role in conserving America’s fisheries, along with key partners from states, tribes, federal agencies, other Service programs, and private interests.

The fisheries program consists of almost 800 employees nationwide, located in 65 Fish and Wildlife Conservation Offices, 70 National Fish Hatcheries, 9 Fish Health Centers, 7 Fish Technology Centers and a Historic National Fish Hatchery and Archives.

For a copy of the report, or to see the summary of the report titled Net Worth: the Economic Value of Fisheries Conservation, please visit

source: USFWS