The RBFF launches the 2021 special report on fishing
Fishing and boating continue to reach new and diverse audiences, new fishing industry study finds Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF).
The 2021 Fisheries Special Report found that:
- 19.7 million females fished in 2020, a 10% increase in participation from 2019.
- Fishing for young people and adolescents has exploded last year, with 13.5 million young people between the ages of 6 and 17 taking the plunge.
- 5 million Hispanic Americans fished in 2020, the highest volume in 14 years.
- Overall participation continues to increase, with nearly 55 million Americans fishing at least once last year.
- African Americans have had the highest turnout over the past three years, with a 7.4% increase in turnout and 14.6% growth since 2019.
- More than 55% of people who have tried fishing intend to continue the activity in 2021.
“The past year has been truly unique, but this increased interest in fishing is a trend that we’ve been seeing emerging for some time,” said Stephanie Vatalaro, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications for RBFF. “Participants in the first-time fishery reached 4.4 million in 2020. This 42% increase is phenomenal, and as the data shows, these new entrants are more diverse than ever, helping to confirm that the water is open to all. “
The new data in the special report comes after a year when Americans’ interest in fishing has peaked as a cure for the stress and anxiety associated with COVID-19. The pandemic has also offered a unique opportunity for those interested in other outdoor activities. The study found that fishing had the highest cross-participation in 2020, as 81% of fishing participants reported engaging in many other outdoor activities besides fishing.
“We are delighted to see so many new and returning fishermen enjoying our country’s waters. Fishermen have always been a force for conservation, and we appreciate their continued support in maintaining aquatic resources for future generations,” said the senior deputy director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Martha Williams. “We are focused on inviting a larger and more diverse community of committed fishermen to become stewards of our precious natural resources.”
The study also showed that spending time with family remains a priority for fishing participation (51.3%) and over 55% of people intend to continue fishing this year.
To continue increasing the popularity of fishing and boating with new and diverse audiences, the RBFF has launched a public service initiative, Climb on board, in partnership with Discover boating. This effort aims to raise awareness of how everyone can promote their well-being and mental health on the water. RBFF is an industry leader in many initiatives that promote diversity and inclusion, including:
With increasing diversity and youth participation comes a collective voice for conservation. Catching and releasing was the most prevalent practice in all types of fishing in 2020, showing an increased interest in maintaining waterways while enjoying the time on the water.
The Special Fisheries File was produced in partnership with the External foundation and provides one of the most comprehensive overviews of the state of US fishing and boating involvement. The full report, along with an infographic, is available at TakeMeFishing.org/SpecialReport. The website also offers resources for beginners, including practical guides to start and a interactive map places to fish and boating, plus links to COVID-19 safety instructions.