Fishing / Hunting Market

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Fishing / Hunting Market

Key Takeaways

  • A report by Outdoor Foundation and the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation notes that during the 2020 calendar, an estimated 54.1 million Americans fished at least once, with participants going for approximately 969 million fishing trips
  • Data published by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis shows that in 2019, the real outdoor recreation value added by hunting/shooting/trapping activities generated an estimated $8.024 billion.
  • In 2019, an estimated 50.7% of the U.S. population (167,899,764 Americans) aged 6 and above took part in outdoor recreation at least once. The 2019 participation marked the highest participation since 2014.

Introduction

Both qualitative and quantitative data is been provided below and focuses on the number of fishing trip providers in the U.S., the number of hunting trip providers, size distribution of outdoor & hunting companies, the total consumer spending in outdoor recreational activities, and the number of participants in outdoor recreational activities.

1. NUMBER OF FISHING TRIP PROVIDERS IN THE U.S.

Extensive searches through numerous reports in the public domain focusing on fishing and outdoor recreational activities did not find a precompiled figure stating the number of fishing trip providers in the US. Instead, publicly available information regarding the number of businesses in the fishing boat charter sector was used to estimate the total number of fishing trip providers in the U.S.
  • According to findings published by Profitable Venture, “Charter Fishing businesses take people on fishing trips that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to experience;” hence, the assumption that the number of businesses in this sector do offer fishing trip services.
  • On that note, a 2021 IBIS World report states that the U.S. fishing boat charter industry market size is $357 million and has 3,081 businesses. In this regard, there are approximately 3,081 fishing trip providers in the U.S. in 2021.
  • Another report by Statista indicates that in 2020, the U.S. had about 3,451 businesses in the fishing boat charter sector, a 2.4% increase from 3,371 businesses in 2019. A screenshot with the statistics is included in the attached document.
  • The sector witnessed a -0.3% growth from 2020, while it witnessed a 0% annualized business growth from 2016-2021.
  • A report by Outdoor Foundation and the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation notes that during the 2020 calendar, an estimated 54.1 million Americans fished at least once. Participants went for approximately 969 million fishing trips. Fresh water fishing attracted 42.6 million participants who went for an estimated 677 million trips.

2. DETERMINE THE NUMBER OF HUNTING TRIP PROVIDERS IN THE US.

Searches through various outdoor recreational and hunting & trapping websites and reports by reputable vendors like IBIS World, Statista, Technavio, etc., did not feature precompiled information and data about the number of hunting providers in the U.S. However, information regarding the number of businesses in the hunting & trapping sector in the U.S. is publicly available and has been used to help estimate the number of hunting providers in the U.S. On this note, the number of businesses is assumed to share the same meaning as ‘providers.’

3. SIZE DISTRIBUTION OF OUTDOOR FISHING & HUNTING IN THE U.S.

Information on size distribution of outdoor recreational activity companies, i.e., fishing and hunting is limited in the public domain, because the majority of reports with comprehensive analyses of the sectors are hidden behind paywalls. However, there are a few statistics regarding the size distribution of the market.
  • According to a report by Southwick Associates, sports fishing activities in the U.S. create employment for an estimated 800,000 individuals; however, more accurate data by. The American Sportfishing Association reports that in 2020, sport fishing supported 826,000 jobs.
  • A Statista report shows that the number of employees in the hunting & trapping sector in the U.S. in 2020 was 17,640 employees. A screenshot showing the statistics is included in the attached document.
  • Moreover, another IBIS World report estimates that the hunting & trapping industry employment in the U.S. is 17,540 individuals.
  • A Technavio report on hunting equipment market in the U.S. reveals that the market is "moderately fragmented with several players occupying the market share."
  • The IBIS World report also notes that no major players in the U.S. hunting & trapping sector occupy a market share of greater than 5%.

4. TOTAL CONSUMER SPENDING IN OUTDOOR RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES

Extensive searches through government databases such as the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, along with leading market and industry research providers like Statista, Business Wire, and Technavio did not uncover comprehensive analyses of the total consumer spending on fishing and hunting recreational activities. Moreover, there was no report in the public domain providing any quantitative or qualitative data on the number of consumer transactions in fishing & hunting recreational activities.

Fishing

  • Based on the most recent data by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the 2019 real outdoor recreational value added by activity, boating/fishing generated a total of $19.929 billion, while fishing, excluding boating generated $8.04 billion. In this regard, boating generated an estimated ($19.929 — $8.04) = $11.889 billion — 2020 data will be released on November 9, 2021.
  • Data released by Outside Business Journal shows that in 2020, boating/fishing added $23.6 billion to the economy. Further, boating/fishing was the most valuable conventional outdoor activity" in terms of GDP value-add. Top states that benefited include Florida earning an estimated $3.3 billion, California ($2 billion), and Texas ($1.7 billion).
  • The image below shows the nominal value of recreational fishing to the economy
  • Another report notes that American anglers generate approximately $50 billion in retail sales with a $125 billion impact on the nation’s economy.
  • Comprehensive data on recreational fishing consumer spending is provided by a 2016 Statista report, with a further breakdown of expenditure on food, fare, among other factors. According to the report, food ($4.76 billion), boating costs ($4.54 billion), private transportation ($4.51 billion), and lodging ($3.09 billion), accounted for the most money, while the least expenses included private land use fees ($493.95 million), equipment rental ($308.2 million), public land use fees ($305.4 million), and heating and cooking fuel ($158.8 million). A screenshot with the statistics is included in the attached document.

Hunting

  • Data published by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis shows that in 2019, the real outdoor recreation value added by hunting/shooting/trapping activities generated an estimated $8.024 billion.
  • On the other hand, hunting/trapping activities generated $4.051 billion.
  • In total, both hunting/trapping and hunting/shooting/trapping activities generated a total of $12.075 billion ($8.024 billion + $4.051 billion).
  • However, a report by Outside Business Journals quotes the 2019 nominal value added by conventional outdoor hunting/shooting/trapping activities in the U.S. at $9.4 billion. The figures are included in the image above.

5. NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS IN OUTDOOR RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES

  • In 2019, an estimated 50.7% of the U.S. population (167,899,764 Americans) aged 6 and above took part in outdoor recreation at least once. The 2019 participation marked the highest participation since 2014.
  • The U.S. population on 31st December 2019 was estimated at 331,163,242 by the U.S. Census Bureau for the United States. Therefore, an estimated (50.7% of 331,163,242 Americans) = 167,899,764 Americans participated in indoor recreation at least once in 2019.
  • 53.8% of outdoor participants in 2020 were male versus 46.2% female, marking “the smallest gender gap on record.”
  • From a demographic perspective, 71.5% of outdoor participants were Caucasian, Hispanics accounted for 11.6%, Blacks (9.4%), and Asians (6%).

Participation Per Activity

According to the 2020 outdoor participation report, running, jogging and trail running; freshwater, saltwater and fly-fishing; hiking; road biking, mountain biking and BMX; and car, backyard, backpacking and RV camping were the five most popular outdoor activities by participation rate.
  • 20.2% of Americans or 61.0 million Americans participated in running, jogging and trail running in 2020.
  • 16.6% of Americans or 50.2 million Americans participated in freshwater, saltwater and fly-fishing in 2020.
  • 16.4% of Americans or 49.7 million Americans participated in hiking in 2020.
  • 16.1% of Americans or 48.9 million Americans participated in road biking, mountain biking and BMX in 2020.
  • 13.8% of Americans or 41.8 million Americans participated in car, backyard, backpacking and RV camping in 2020.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

Extensive searches through outdoor recreational activities reports, articles, and news pieces published by Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation, TakeMeFishing.org, and the American Sportfishing Association, along with the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis uncovered most of the findings presented above. However, some information could not be found in the public domain, including information on the number of transactions in the outdoor recreational activities space. Information specific to things like consumer transactions did not appear in the public domain. Moreover, none of the reports, including government reports included information on the number of consumer transactions. Most of the information and statistics around recreational fishing and hunting activities in the U.S. appear fragmented and scattered across numerous reports. Overall, in cases where the information is not readily available, excerpts with relevant information are added to complement existing data. All relevant charts and tables from Statista are included in the attached document.

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