SURREY, BC – A recent report released by B.C. Statistics shows that public recreational fisheries, both tidal and non-tidal, contribute nearly $1 Billion per year to the B.C. economy.
“The Provincial Government has just issued important economic data that confirms something that our organization has been saying for years: ‘it pays to go fishing!'”, said BC Wildlife Federation (BCWF) President Bill Bosch.
The report, entitled “British Columbia Fisheries and Aquaculture Sector, 2012 Edition”, was released on Friday, February 1st, and clearly supports a longstanding position of the BCWF: that public access to our province’s recreational fishing resources is a significant contributor to the economic health of B.C., especially in areas desperately in need of economic diversification and employment opportunities.
The economic impact analysis included in the report shows that recreational fishing creates jobs for 13,900 British Columbians and contributes $936.5 million dollars to B.C.’s economy each year. Local and visiting anglers make significant contributions to the tourism and retail sectors through their purchases of equipment, boats, vehicles, travel, and services – business that is often vital to the survival of remote coastal communities.
“This report has established a clear need for both the Provincial and Federal Governments to wake up to the economic importance of investing in building and maintaining sustainable recreational fisheries across British Columbia”, said BCWF President Bill Bosch.
The best example of limited access at the moment is the halibut fishery, where 400 commercial quota holders control 85 per cent of the total allowable catch while thousands of recreational public anglers face reduced opportunities and catch limits as they try to stay within their 15% assignment.
The BC Wildlife Federation recognizes and supports the contribution recreational angling makes to growing B.C.’s economy and commends the Provincial government for researching and compiling such an excellent and comprehensive economic report. BCWF is committed to working with all levels of government to help build a vital and sustainable recreational fishery that provides significant economic benefits for British Columbia.
The BCWF is British Columbia’s largest and oldest conservation organization with over 40,000 members passionately committed to protecting, enhancing and promoting the wise use of the environment for the benefit of present and future generations. Visit www.bcwf.bc.ca for more information.