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Florida’s Wildlife-Associated Recreation Is Big Business For The Economy

March 14, 2008

Florida holds claim as a premier destination for activities involving wildlife, including fishing, hunting and wildlife-viewing. Nearly 6 million adults – residents and nonresidents – enjoy some form of wildlife-associated recreation throughout the state annually, according to the recently released “2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation – Florida.”

The survey, conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Census Bureau, involved interviews with U.S. residents about their hunting, fishing and wildlife-viewing activities, with emphasis on participation and expenditures of people aged 16 and older.

This survey is conducted every five years and shows that despite downturns in some areas of the economy, recreational activities involving fish, wildlife and nature have remained steady nationwide, except for an increase in wildlife viewers and a decrease in the number of anglers.

All these numbers point to the economic importance of outdoor recreation, as $8.1 billion from the wallets of people who enjoy wildlife went toward travel, equipment, licenses and other associated items. The ripple effects of these expenditures brought more than $11.6 billion to the state.

Dollars from fishing, both freshwater and saltwater, led the way, with anglers spending more than $4.3 billion on fish-related activities and merchandise. Wildlife-viewing activities brought in more than $3.1 billion, and total hunting revenue topped out at $377 million, plus another $34 million coming from associated expenditures.

Florida remains the No. 1 fishing state in terms of total anglers, angler expenditures, angler-supported jobs, taxes generated, nonresident anglers and nonresident expenditures – retaining its status as the Fishing Capital of the World. Florida is second, behind only California, in terms of wildlife viewing.

“These statistics tell us that managing and conserving Florida’s natural environment are paramount not only to the health of fish and wildlife, but to the economy as well,” said Ken Haddad, executive director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. “It just makes good sense to conserve all the assets that bring money and jobs to the people of Florida.

“When all of these benefits are added together, the quality of life improves for everyone who enjoys outdoor recreation in Florida.”



 

 
 
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