Anglers Have Impact on Florida Economy
“Many people may not fully comprehend how important hunting and fishing are to the fabric of this country. Yet nationally there are more people who hunt or fish than go bowling, and their spending would land them at #24 on the Fortune 500 list,” commented Jeff Crane, President of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation. “Sportsmen and women spent $5.92 billion on hunting and fishing in Florida in 2011 – that is almost twice the combined revenues for greenhouse/nursery products and oranges, the state’s top two agricultural commodities that year ($5.92 billion vs. $3.27 billion in combined receipts).”
Intended to provide a series of “sound bites” that resonate within the outdoor community as well as the general public, the CSF data spotlights some of the most compelling information about hunters and anglers in every state. For example, 3.15 million people (residents and non-residents) hunted or fished in Florida in 2011, more than the population of the Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater Metropolitan Statistical Area (3.15 million vs. 2.8 million). In addition, Florida’s resident sportsmen and women could fill every one of the state’s professional sports venues (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and NASCAR) more than three and a half times (2.07 million vs. 566,998 combined capacity). Perhaps most importantly, hunters and anglers support 94,884 jobs in Florida, more than the Universities of Florida, South Florida, and Central Florida, combined (94,884 vs. 59,138 combined employees).
Beyond the impact to businesses and local economies, sportsmen and women are the leaders in conserving fish and wildlife and their habitats. When you combine license and stamp fees, motorboat fuels, excise taxes on hunting and fishing equipment and membership contributions to conservation organizations, hunters and anglers directed $3 billion towards on-the-ground conservation and restoration efforts in 2011 – that is over $95 every second. This does not include their own habitat acquisition and restoration work for lands owned or leased for the purpose of hunting and fishing, which would add another $11 billion to the mix.
The base data for the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation report and state fact sheets comes from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Associated Recreation. From this base data, CSF and its partners the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the American Sportfishing Association commissioned Southwick Associates to develop detailed reports on the hunting and fishing industries, respectively. These reports provide the information that CSF uses in their comparisons to other industries and activities that may be more recognizable to the general public. The CSF report and state information for all 50 states are available on the CSF website.