Florida is considered the "Fishing Capital of the World" with more world record fish catches than any other state or country. From an economic perspective, Florida also leads all states in economic impacts for its marine recreational fisheries and has one of the top producing commercial fisheries in the country. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's National Survey on Hunting, Fishing, and Wildlife Viewing in 2006 (values updated through Feb. 2011), Florida's recreational saltwater fishery has an economic impact of $5.7 billion, supporting more than 54,500 jobs.
In the 2010/2011 fiscal year, over 1.2 million individuals bought a saltwater recreational fishing license including more than 860,000 Florida residents and 394,000 non-residents. Total revenue for all marine recreational fishing license sales was over $25 million.
In 2009, the Department of Commerce's Fisheries Economics of the United States 2009 says eastern Florida recreational anglers took 10 million fishing trips: 5.4 million by private/rental boats, 4.5 million from shore, and 180,000 by party/charter boat. West Florida recreational anglers took 15.5 million trips: 8.4 million private/rental, 6.4 million by shore, and 567,000 by party/charter boat. Top targeted recreational species include: Spanish mackerel, spotted seatrout, red drum and grouper/snapper.
As for Florida's commercial fishery, in 2008 NOAA Fisheries ranked Florida the eleventh state in commercial landings with over 86 million pounds, and seventh in ex-vessel value at $170 million.
The Department of Commerce's Fisheries Economics of the United States 2009 had Florida's commercial fishery as the second largest in the nation generating $12 million in in-state sales and third in the nation with 64,744 jobs supported by commercial fishing.
For the 2010/2011 fiscal year, 23,864 Saltwater Products Licenses were sold, 10,685 of which generated revenue for the state. The total revenue generated by commercial licensings and permits in that time period was more than $3.9 million.
Florida's top commercial species in 2010 by ex-vessel value include: Spiny Lobster - $35,530,543; Stone Crabs - $23,708,871; Pink Shrimp - $15,154,929; Blue Crab (hard shell) -$9,676,374; Red Grouper - $8,987,665; and King Mackerel - $8,784,295.
- Recreational saltwater fishing impacts Florida's economy with over $5.7 billion and over 50,000 jobs
- Commercial saltwater fishing impacts Florida's economy with over $5.7 billion and provides more than 100,000 jobs (2008)