FWC Lines Up More License-Free Fishing Days in Florida
Around the State
With Labor Day around the corner, the unofficial end of summer, anglers will have on Sunday their one chance in 2013 to cast lines in the ocean and Gulf around Florida without paying a fee, even as a new study shows how fishing remains an important part of the Sunshine State’s economy.
Florida TaxWatch released an economic study on Tuesday which finds Florida’s fishing industry leads to $5 billion annually for the Sunshine State. The study finds that more than half of that comes from indirect sales and expenses. More than 1.2 million tourists have already come to Florida to fish so far in 2013.
"Sport fishing has a direct impact on Florida's economy," said Jerry Parrish, TaxWatch’s chief economist and the executive director of the TaxWatch Center for Competitive Florida. "The impact of fishing on industries outside of tourism is often overlooked."
The study also finds that the state made $36.2 million in fiscal year 2011-2012 from freshwater and saltwater fishing licenses. Still, Florida will not require a license for saltwater fishing on Sunday and there are more license-free days to come.
On Monday, Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) announced that Sunday would be a saltwater license-free fishing day.
“The license-free fishing day on Sept. 1 is a great way for families to enjoy Florida’s incredible saltwater fishing opportunities during the Labor Day holiday,” Scott said on Monday. “Florida is the fishing capital of the world and this license-free weekend is a great opportunity to introduce friends and family, who may have never experienced Florida saltwater fishing, to enjoy the Sunshine State's bountiful waters and historic fishing communities.”
Next week, the FWC will meet in Pensacola to debate adding four more license-free fishing days before the end of 2013. If the FWC approves the proposal, there will be two more freshwater license-free fishing days and two saltwater ones.
Earlier this year, there were two license-free freshwater days in April and June. There was a license-free saltwater day back in June.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.