Recreational and commercial fishing has had a big impact on the US economy in recent years.
From large-scale offshore commercial fishing operations to your average Joe buying bait at the local tackle shop, fishing supports our economy and millions of US jobs.
In late April, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a series of reports that show how fishing has positively impacted the US economy in the last three years.
Commerce.gov presented some of the findings in a recent blog post.
Between 2011 and 2012, commercial and sport saltwater fishing contributed more than $199 billion in sales impacts, $89 billion to the gross domestic product and supported more than 1.7 million jobs.
Recreational fishing – our wheelhouse – added $58 billion in sales, $19 billion in income and supported 381,000 jobs in 2012.
That same year the commercial fishing industry, which includes fishermen, processors, dealers wholesalers and retailers, contributed $141 billion in sales, $39 billion in income and supported 1.3 million jobs.
This infographic created by the NOAA shows the states where fishing supports the most jobs.
The aforementioned studies also show that critical fish stocks were rebuilt to their target levels in 2013. According to the US Department of Commerce, the US has rebuilt 34 commercial fish stocks since 2000. They also claim that the US is a global leader in sustainable fishing practices and a management.
Whether you agree with that or not, it seems pretty clear that fishing is helping to restock the figurative fishery that is our economy.
So, keep on fishing, but remember to maintain sustainable fishing practices. Overfishing is a serious threat to our fish stocks when we get reckless with how much we take from the ocean.
How do you think the US is doing with managing commercial fish stocks? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.