Sharks Keep A Healthy Economy for Florida
Income from dive tourism is far greater than that of shark fishing. And it is a renewable resource that can continue for many years to come, as long as you have abundant reef and marine life. Divers are especially keen to see sharks. Sharks are not only important to maintain a healthy reef and fish populations, they also benefit the economy. A live shark is worth far more than a dead shark that gets sold for meat or fins. Internationally, shark watchers spend an estimated $314 million on shark ecotourism every year, and researchers expect that to double to $780 million in 20 years.
An independent study commissioned by Oceana showed that the value of Florida shark diving in 2016 is more than 200 times the value of shark fin exports for the entire U.S. in 2015.
Direct expenditures for shark encounters in the diving industry totaled more than $221 million and fueled more than 3,700 jobs in Florida alone. Read more about this in this Keys Weekly article