Socioeconomic Assessment

In today's "Information Age," economic research and analysis are vital to the broad approach necessary to address Florida's complex fish-, wildlife- and habitat-related issues.

The Socioeconomic Assessment Office, part of the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, provides decision-makers with an understanding of the economic value, impact, benefits, costs and efficiency measures directly related to the conservation of fish and wildlife resources. Although the primary audience for this information is the Florida Legislature and FWC resource managers, we recognize the importance of communicating economic information to the public as well.

Economics of Fish & Wildlife Recreation in Florida

When a family goes fishing or hunting, buys binoculars to view wildlife, visits a nature preserve, goes boating or visits a seafood restaurant in Florida, it is contributing to the economic prosperity of the state and to jobs. Results from various studies, summarized on this page, show in human terms the value of protecting and managing wildlife.

Economic Impacts of Hunting, Freshwater Fishing, Saltwater Fishing, Wildlife Viewing and Recreational Boating

(Updated November 2014)

Category Economic Contribution Jobs
Hunting* $1.6 billion 14,673
Recreational Freshwater Fishing* $1.7 billion 14,040
Recreational Saltwater Fishing** $7.6 billion 109,341
Wildlife Viewing* $4.9 billion 44,623
Recreational Boating*** $10.4 billion 82,752
* 2011 data
** 2012 data
*** 2013 data


Hunting, Recreational Freshwater Fishing and Wildlife Viewing Expenditures
(2011 data)

  Hunting Freshwater Fishing Wildlife Viewing
Participants 242,000 1,227,000 4,308,000
Total Expenditures $716 million $710 million $3 billion
Trip-related $281 million $461 million $1.7 billion
Equipment and other $435 million $249 million $1.3 billion
Average per participant $2,824 $578 $668


Recreational Saltwater Fishing Expenditures (2012 data)

Participants 5,554,000
Total Expenditures $10.3 billion
Trip-related (by fishing mode) $1.1 billion
For-hire $304 million
Private boat $493 million
Shore $273 million
Equipment-related $9.3 billion
Average per participant $1,855


Recreational Boating Expenditures (2013 data)

Total Expenditures $10.3 billion


Other Economics Projects

FWC Facts:
Black bear cubs are very small at birth, weighing only 8 to 15 ounces, which is the size of a small squirrel.

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