New campaign launched to support constitutional amendment for hunting and fishing rights

by | Apr 30, 2024

A campaign to secure a constitutional amendment making fishing and hunting fundamental public rights in Florida launched on Tuesday, aiming to gain the necessary 60 percent voter approval in November.

A campaign in support of a constitutional amendment to enshrine fishing and hunting as a fundamental public right was launched on Tuesday, as advocates rally to reach the required approval by at least 60 percent of the electors voting on the measure in November.

The initiative, YES ON 2, announced on social media that it had officially commenced operations. The amendment “recognizes the importance of hunting and fishing to Florida’s cultural heritage and its economy,” according to the resolution’s draft language. If ratified, the measure would take effect on January 7, 2025.

“The campaign to preserve fishing and hunting rights in Florida has officially launched!” The campaign posted on X, adding on its website that “Amendment 2 preserves Florida’s rich traditions, conservation practices, outdoor lifestyle and economic opportunities.”

Saltwater fishing has a significant economic impact on Florida, earning the state the title of “Fishing Capital of the World.” In the fiscal year 2019-20, the state sold 1.5 million recreational saltwater licenses, generating $37.8 million in total sales. The economic impact of saltwater recreational fishing alone is $9.2 billion, though when combined, saltwater and freshwater recreational fishing have an economic impact of $13.8 billion, according to state data.

Moreover, saltwater recreational fishing supports 88,501 jobs in Florida, while both saltwater and freshwater fishing support 120,000 jobs in total. In 2019 and 2020, Florida’s commercial fisheries generated $3.2 billion in income and supported 76,700 jobs, per the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Altogether, outdoor recreation remains crucial to Florida’s economy, with recreational fishing, hunting, and wildlife viewing generating an economic impact of $10.1 billion annually.

According to the International Order of T. Rosevelt, who spoke at a press conference last April in support of the measure, hunting-related purchases totaled $1.3 billion in Florida in 2022, supporting 14,300 jobs.

“We’ve already conducted polling that shows us that there is strong support for this amongst not only Republicans and Democrats, but Independents as well,” said Luke Hilgemann, International Order of Theodore Rosevelt Executive Director. “We’re confident that once the legislature takes action we will be able to enshrine the right to fish and hunt in Florida’s Constitution forever.”

According to the International Order of T. Rosevelt, hunting-related purchases totaled $1.3 billion in Florida last year, supporting 14,300 jobs.

The measure was also backed by lawmakers, including Rep. Lauren Melo.

“With over 1,000 people per day moving to Florida, it is critical that we preserve this Florida heritage forever,” she said.


%d bloggers like this: