U.S. Senate Passage of Outdoor REC Act Positive for Florida

Sportfishing industry jobs and recreational fishing’s economic impact will now be accounted for as part of the U.S.’s gross domestic product, akin to other industries such as automobiles and pharmaceuticals, thanks to President Barak Obama’s signing the Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact Act (Outdoor REC Act) of 2016 into law in December.

“Sportfishing is a major economic driver in Florida, contributing to $9.3 billion in annual economic activity and employing more than 123,000 Floridians,” says Gary Jennings, manager of Keep Florida Fishing®, an advocacy arm of the American Sportfishing Association with the goal of ensuring Florida anglers have clean waters, abundant fisheries and access to both. “Florida is the Fishing Capital of the World and the federal Outdoor REC Act will have a positive impact on our more than 3 million licensed anglers by highlighting the important contributions of anglers to Florida’s economy and to conservation.” www.KeepFloridaFishing.org.

Carol M. Bareuther, RD, is a St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands based marine writer and registered dietitian.