How Big is the Fishing Industry

The fishing industry is an important and economically significant sector of the global economy. It encompasses a variety of activities such as capture fisheries, aquaculture, processing, distribution, and marketing of seafood products. According to the World Bank’s statistics, in 2017 alone there were 119 million people employed in fishing and fish farming worldwide; this number has grown significantly since then.

In terms of economic value generated by the industry, it was estimated that total production from capture fisheries and aquaculture reached 142 million metric tons with a monetary value close to $200 billion USD in 2018. This figure includes both marine (91%) and inland (9%) catches which are mainly composed of finfish species. The contribution made by small-scale fishers should not be neglected either; these represent over half of all fish caught globally every year.

The fishing industry is a massive global enterprise that employs millions of people and provides food for billions. In the US alone, more than 1 million individuals work in the commercial fishing sector, with a combined economic impact of over $200 billion per year. This makes it one of the largest industries in the world and its importance to our economy cannot be overstated.

How Big is the Fishing Industry


How Big is the Fishing Industry Worldwide?

The fishing industry is a major global business that produces billions of dollars in revenue each year. According to the World Bank, the total value of global fisheries and aquaculture production was approximately $182 billion in 2016 alone. This figure includes both commercial fisheries and small-scale fishing operations throughout the world, with some estimates suggesting that it may be as high as $200 billion annually.

It is estimated that over 50 million people are employed directly or indirectly by the worldwide fish industry, making it one of the most important sources of livelihood for many coastal communities around the world.

Where is the Largest Fishing Industry in the World?

The largest fishing industry in the world is located off the coast of China. China accounts for over 30% of global fish catch, making it by far the largest producer and exporter of seafood products. In addition to its own waters, Chinese vessels also regularly venture into international waters around Africa and Latin America to take advantage of plentiful stocks.

This has led to growing criticism from other countries about how Chinese fleets are depleting fish stocks in their regions. Nevertheless, with a fleet size estimated at three times larger than any other nation’s, there is no doubt that China remains the dominant force in global fisheries today.

Where is the Largest Fishing Industry in the Us?

The largest fishing industry in the US is located in Alaska. The Alaskan fisheries are responsible for nearly one-third of the country’s commercial seafood production, with an annual harvest of over 5 billion pounds of fish and shellfish. The majority of this catch comes from wild-caught species such as salmon, halibut, pollock, and cod.

Many companies have their own processing plants which employ thousands of workers throughout the state. In addition to providing a large portion of America’s seafood resources, these operations also generate millions in revenue every year for both state and local economies.

How Big is the Sport Fishing Industry?

The sport fishing industry is huge, and it continues to grow. According to the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), recreational anglers spend more than $48 billion a year on trips, tackle, equipment, and other related items. This money helps support an estimated 828,000 jobs across the U.S., generating $115 billion in economic activity each year.

On top of this, recreational fishing generates more than $10 billion in state tax revenue annually. As such, the sport fishing industry is not only a major source of income for many people but also a key contributor to local economies across the country.

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Fishing Industry Statistics

The global fishing industry is a major contributor to the world economy. According to statistics from 2015, it was estimated that the total value of fish and seafood produced worldwide was around $160 billion USD. In 2018, over 550 million tons of fish were caught for consumption with an estimated retail value of more than $216 billion USD.

China is currently the leading producer in terms of volume, accounting for nearly one-third (32%) of all catches made globally each year. The European Union stands as the second largest producer with a 17% market share while Indonesia follows closely behind at 11%.

How Big is the Recreational Fishing Industry

The recreational fishing industry is huge, with an estimated 47 million anglers spending around $48 billion on trips and equipment in the U.S. alone each year. Globally, the impact of recreational fishing is even more pronounced, generating an estimated $125 billion annually for local economies worldwide and supporting millions of jobs across a variety of industries such as tourism, hospitality, retail, and manufacturing.

Recreational Fishing Industry Statistics

The recreational fishing industry is a major economic force in the United States, contributing $48 billion to the national economy annually and supporting 467,000 jobs. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s National Survey of Fishing, Hunting & Wildlife-Associated Recreation report from 2016, more than 38 million people participated in recreational fishing activities that year alone—the highest rate since 1995 when 45 million anglers were counted. In addition to its economic impact, recreational fisheries also provide vital ecological services such as improving water quality and providing habitat for aquatic species.

How Big is the Fishing Industry in California

The fishing industry in California is a multi-billion dollar business, with an estimated $3.9 billion in economic output and over 40,000 jobs in 2018. Commercial and recreational fisheries are both significant components of the state’s economy, providing high-quality seafood to local markets while also contributing to the tourism sector through recreational activities like sport fishing. Overall, California’s diverse coastline provides abundant opportunities for anglers looking to land a big catch or just enjoy some time on the water.


The fishing industry is a massive global enterprise and has been an important part of many cultures for centuries. From small-scale local fisheries to large-scale commercial operations, the industry has a significant impact on economies around the world. With advances in technology, it’s likely that this industry will continue to be vital for years to come and its importance should not be underestimated.

Through careful management and sustainable practices, the fishing industry can remain an important source of food and livelihood in the future.

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