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[FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']For Immediate Release[/FONT][FONT='Verdana','sans-serif'] Mary Jane Williamson, Communications director, [/FONT]
[FONT='Verdana','sans-serif'][email protected], 703-519-9691, x227, [/FONT]
[FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']Rob Southwick, Southwick Associates, 904-277-9765[/FONT]

Report Highlights Fishing's Broad Economic and Conservation Impact
Anglers' expenditures have a significant impact on the nation's economy
Recreational fishing is more than just a getaway for millions of Americans. As an industry, it provides a living for countless people in businesses ranging from fishing tackle and accessories manufacturing to travel and hospitality to boat manufacturing. According to a new report on fishing statistics, published by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), when expenditures are multiplied by America's nearly 40 million anglers, their dollars have a significant impact on our nation's economy.
Sportfishing in America: An Economic Engine and Conservation Powerhouse highlights how fishing not only endures as an activity that permeates social and economic aspects of Americans' lives, but also plays a huge role in the country's successful conservation movement.
"As an industry, we are keenly aware of the impact that sportfishing has on this nation's economy," said ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman. "Just by enjoying a day on the water, men, women and children across the United States pump billions of dollars into this country's economy." Nussman further said, "And it's not just the economy; America's anglers are in many ways the nation's most powerful force for the environment investing hundreds of millions of dollars each year in fisheries management and conservation through taxes on fishing equipment and license sales."
[FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']America's nearly 40 million anglers spend over $45 billion per year on fishing equipment, transportation, lodging and other expenses associated with their sport. With a total annual economic impact of $125 billion, fishing supports over one million jobs and generates $34 billion in wages and $16 billion in tax revenues each year. The average amount anglers spend yearly on hooks, rods, lures and other fishing tackle increased 16 percent from 2001 to 2006. [/FONT]
A number of reports strongly indicate that fishing is identified by American families as one of the best ways to spend quality time together. According to the National Sporting Goods Association, fishing as a leisure-time activity ranks higher than playing basketball or softball, skateboarding, jogging or hiking.
Substantially more than any other groups, anglers support the nation's conservation efforts through the Sport Fish Restoration Program. Special taxes on fishing gear and motorboat fuel channel hundreds of millions of anglers' dollars to state fish and wildlife conservation and recreation programs each year.
The American Sportfishing Association's analysis is based on data from the 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, conducted every five years on behalf of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies by the Census Bureau and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Sportfishing in America was produced for ASA by Southwick Associates, Fernandina Beach, Fla.
[FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']Additional economic facts about sportfishing:[/FONT]

· [FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']The nearly one million jobs supported by anglers are almost three times the number of people who work for United Parcel Service in the U.S.[/FONT]

· [FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']The amount of federal tax revenues generated by angler spending in 2006 - $8.9 billion - is roughly equal to the entire 2006 budget for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.[/FONT]

· [FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']In 2006, the top 10 states with residents who fished, based on the percentage of population, are: Alaska, Wyoming, Montana, Minnesota, Maine, Wisconsin, Idaho, Arkansas, West Virginia and Mississippi.[/FONT]

· [FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']In 2006, the top 10 states that attract the highest number of non-resident anglers are: Florida, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, South Carolina, Maryland, Arkansas, New York and Texas. [/FONT]

· [FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']In 2006, the total days of fishing in the U.S. equaled 1,289,300 years of fishing. [/FONT]

· [FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']The not-so-lowly catfish is pursued by nearly seven million anglers, more than the population of Arizona, Massachusetts or Washington.[/FONT]

· [FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']All the dollars spent by anglers, attached end to end, would reach to the moon and back - nine times![/FONT]
[FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']The [/FONT][FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']American Sportfishing Association[/FONT][FONT='Verdana','sans-serif'] (ASA) is the sportfishing industry's trade association, committed to looking out for the interests of the entire sportfishing community. We give the industry a unified voice, speaking out on behalf of sportfishing and boating industries, state and federal natural resource agencies, conservation organizations, angler advocacy groups and outdoor journalists when emerging laws and policies could significantly affect sportfishing business or sportfishing itself. We invest in long-term ventures to ensure the industry will remain strong and prosperous as well as safeguard and promote the enduring social, economic and conservation values of sportfishing in America.[/FONT]
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