Sportfishing Economics

Sportfishing Economics

Recreational fishing is big business, generating more than $115 billion in economic output and more than 828,000 jobs. If sportfishing were a corporation, it would rank 51 on the Fortune 500™ list. The economic contributions of recreational fishing have grown steadily over the last several decades.

This section provides economic data on recreational vs. commercial saltwater fishing, tackle sales and import numbers.

Detailed information on angler sales and economics is available to ASA members. For general information, contact Communications Director Mary Jane Williamson, (703) 519-9691 x227.

For more information about sportfishing economics, contact

  • Sportfishing in America
    Despite competition from video games and other similar activities and increased urbanization, recreational angling remains one of the largest outdoor recreational activities in the nation as well as one of the most solid industries in the United States.
  • More Habitat Means More Fish
    Restoring and expanding coastal and estuarine habitat leads to increases in fish populations, which have a positive impact on the communities and the industries that depend on thriving and sustainable fisheries.
  • NOAA Report: Recreational vs. Commercial Saltwater Fishing, May 2013
    A report released in May 2013 by the American Sportfishing Association makes a powerful case that from an economic perspective, recreational fishing is just as important as commercial fishing, despite a much lower overall impact on the resource. According to the report, anglers landed just two percent of the total saltwater landings compared to ninety-eight percent caught by the commercial fishing industry.
  • NOAA Report: Fisheries Economics of the U.S
    From NOAA’s Office of Science and Technology, this report provides economic information related to commercial and recreational fishing activities as part of a bi-annual report series: Fisheries Economics of the United States (FEUS).
  • ORSA Highlight Video
    Highlights from the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable's 9/20/2018 presentation of the Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account at the Dirksen Senate Office Building.