Fishing is big business. Recreational anglers buy tackle, rent or buy boats, pay charter or guide fees, buy fuel, stay in hotels for overnight fishing trips, and some lucky ones even buy second homes to be even closer to their favorite fishing destinations.By comparison, US GDP in 2016 was about 18 trillion (with a "t"), so, only about 0.2%. Still, it's a lot of money, and a lot of jobs.
Most fish caught by commercial fishermen end up on a dinner plate. They are sold to restaurants or grocery stores. Other commercial catches are bought by factories that manufacture pet food, vitamins or medicines. From the commercial sale of sea scallops and lobster to charter fishing trips in Biscayne Bay, there’s money to be made, to the tune of about $39 billion in 2016.
Some of the highlights of this year’s reports include one-half of the total expenditure on tackle ($1.8 billion) was made in Florida, 57 percent of sea scallop landings (23 million pounds) were caught in Massachusetts and the largest increases in commercial landings were for lobster and menhaden.Some of the best fishing, and some of the best weather to fish in the whole country.
While Maryland doesn’t make any of the top-10 lists in the report, it does come in a respectable No. 11 for number of jobs supported by the recreational fishing industry, about 8,000 jobs. Number 1 on that list, Florida, supports 95,000 jobs. That’s not surprising considering the most charter fishing trips were hired out of that state as well.
I bet you can guess what state caught the most striped bass. Striped bass isn’t Maryland’s state fish for nothing.I thought that was just Pete's share. . .
Actually, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Virginia all lay claim to the striped bass as their state fish as well. But only one state can be Number 1, and the Old Line State had that honor with 5.1 million.
Do you wonder where all the flounder have moved? New Jersey must be to their liking, since they caught the most — 6.9 million. Our neighbor Virginia caught the most Atlantic croaker and spot in 2016 (5.6 million fish).
I bet you can also guess the most valuable species for Maryland’s commercial fishermen. The big three were blue crabs, oysters and striped bass.The going rate of rockfish (striped bass) varies in time, but there is a sliding scale for size, where smaller fish (2-3 lbs) sell for, say $3 per lb, where large fish, 8+ lbs, might get $6 or more per lb.
In 2016, oysters commanded the largest price per pound at $13.83. The price of rockfish more than doubled in the last decade, going for an average of $4.15 in 2016. Lowly menhaden commands just 16 cents per pound in Maryland.
Wombat-socho has Rule 5 Monday: Michelle Dockery up at The Other McCain.