RISAA News

Recreational fishing worth $412 million to the State of Rhode Island
It's fact!
Saltwater recreational fishing generates a total economic impact of
$412 million to Rhode Island economy!

That's right. According to data collected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the most recent year available, 2016, recreational fishing supported over 4,000 jobs and contributed over $412 million to the Rhode Island economy. And these figures are growing every year, so more recent years are likely higher.
Rhode Island fishing
That's in comparison to a value of $332 million for commercial fisheries in Rhode Island even though commercial fishing lands many times as many pounds of fish compared to recreational fishing!

Recreational fishing for species like striped bass is something that we have in Rhode Island as a natural resource. It is a resource that other states don't have and that we should be careful to manage and grow. People come from great distances to take advantage of our natural resource and it is critical that we manage this resource carefully.

Rhode Island fishing "This study tells us that recreational fishing is an even greater force in the Rhode Island economy than we ever believed," said RISAA President Steve Medeiros. "It sends a strong message that sport fishing is an industry and a key aspect of our economy and way of life in the Ocean State. It shows that we should invest in its future and safeguard our fisheries."

Rhode Island has become a world-class angling destination thanks to its majestic coastline and Narragansett Bay. This study should convince Legislators that supporting recreational angling, public access and programs to provide a healthy Narragansett Bay will benefit all citizens of Rhode Island.

The study examined facts, figures and documents from government and other sources, as well as examining financial records of participating bait shops, charter captains and interviews with anglers.


It resulted from a document, "Fisheries Economics of the United States 2016," filled with important facts, figures and trends.

Did you know that:
  • Nationally saltwater recreational fishing generated nearly $68 Billion and supported over 472,000 jobs.
  • More than 392,000 saltwater anglers fished in Rhode Island in 2016 and 243,000 of them were from out of State.
  • Saltwater recreational fishing is one of the most important outdoor recreational amenities for Rhode Islanders
  • Saltwater fishing is the most prevalent activity among boaters in Rhode Island
This demonstrates that recreational saltwater fishing is a big part of Rhode Island's tourism business, which can be further increased in value if we improve saltwater fishing by increasing fish stocks, which we need to protect, manage and enhance.