In addition to celebrating all the great things about fishing and boating, this week provides great opportunities to learn about ways to support and promote sustainable and environmentally-friendly fishing and boating. This post contains more information about the significance of National Fishing and Boating Week, the economic impact of fishing and boating on our economy, and tips for practicing safe and environmentally friendly boating and fishing.
Recreational Fishing – 4th National Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Summit
But first, the Summit. Recently, NOAA Fisheries and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commissionco-hosted the 4th National Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Summit in March 2022. This year’s summit theme was “Recreational Fisheries in a Time of Change,” and the sessions brought stakeholders together to collaborate and exchange best practices for recreational fishing opportunities during a time of rapid national and global change. These partnerships are important not just for the environment, but also for our economy and all of the businesses associated with this industry. And there sure are plenty: Recreational anglers took nearly 200 million trips in 2020 with an estimated recreational harvest of 343 million fish!
Economic Impact – Commercial, Recreational, and Foreign Trade
In addition, when it comes to commercial fishing’s impact on our economy, according to NOAA’s Fisheries of the United States 2020 report, U.S. fishermen at our nation’s ports landed 8.4 billion pounds valued at $4.7 billion in 2020! And in 2020, the U.S. imported $21.4 billion worth of seafood, with the top imports being shrimp, salmon fillet, whole salmon, whole tuna, and canned tuna. YUM!
Safe Fishing in Coral Reefs, Seagrass Beds, and Mangrove Forests
According to experts at NOAA, in order to fish safely in coral reefs, seagrass beds, and mangrove forests, it’s important to have knowledge of the habitats of the fish you’re looking for, use caution when boating and fishing in or near sensitive habitats, and always use your due diligence when anchoring your boat to avoid damaging sensitive plants and other organisms.