The National Marine Fisheries Service, an office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration within the Department of Commerce, also called the NOAA Fisheries, confirms marine recreational fishing is a far greater economic force in the United States than previous evaluations had indicated. In its report, 2017 Economic Contribution of Marine Angler Expenditures on Fishing Trips in the United States, the federal agency shows angler trip expenditures totaled $10.5 billion nationwide, more than double the $4.3 billion in expenditures from the 2016 report. The massive increase in the recreational angling economic footprint is mostly attributed to the new Marine Recreational Information Program revealing far more angler trips than previous estimates.
The report further states that saltwater angler trips contributed:
167,000 jobs (up from 66,000 in 2016)
$24 billion in total sales (up from $10 billion in 2016)
$14 billion in value added to GDP (up from $5.1 billion in 2016)
$7.9 billion in income to the economy (up from $3.1 billion in 2016)
NOAA Fisheries surveyed recreational fishers from 2016-2017 in each coastal state using in-person interviews, mail or a mixed web/mail mode. Marine recreational fishing was defined as fishing for finfish in the open ocean or any body of water that is marine or brackish for sport or pleasure and includes for-hire charter fishing, fishing from a private boat, and shore fishing.