Fishing contributes half a billion to B.C. economy

Fishing contributes half a billion to B.C. economy
Freshwater fishing contributes nearly half a billion dollars annually to the provincial economy and is steadily growing, according to a ground-breaking study released today by the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC (FFSBC). "While we always knew that freshwater anglers spent a lot of money chasing the big one, we are now able to quantify the extent to which investments in sport fishing produce returns for the province's tourism and hospitality industries and the economy of rural B.C.," said FFSBC President Don Peterson. The study was released at the Sport Fishing Institute of B.C.'s annual industry policy conference in Richmond today.The study, which was conducted by noted fisheries economist Gordon Gislason, measured freshwater fishing across a variety of social and economic indicators and produced some impressive conclusions about this often overlooked sector. Using primarily 2005 data (the latest year for which complete information is available), the study's findings include:
  • 270,000 freshwater anglers spend $480 million annually on equipment, travel, accommodation and hospitality services.
  • The 1,000 businesses that outfit freshwater anglers contribute $210 million in GDP, employ 3,900 full-time workers, pay $120 million in wages and benefits.
  • Anglers contribute $125 million in provincial and federal taxes.
  • $13M in fishing licence revenue is reinvested in the resource each year.
  • Every $1 spent on stocking freshwater lakes and streams by the FFSBC produces $21 in spending by anglers.
  • Freshwater angler participation increased 7% since 2005.
In addition to the impressive economic contribution, the study also noted that British Columbia is unique in the variety of its freshwater fishing experiences, the quality of its fish and BC's unparalled natural environment. While some anglers pay up to $1500 per day for unique fishing trips in remote locales, most resident anglers pay less than $25 per day to outfit themselves and their families for a local, family-friendly fishing adventure.The 64-page study and a 12-page summary report are available on the FFSBC's website at: www.gofishbc.com.
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