Coral reefs support jobs, tourism, and fisheries

shark fishing in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

From tourism to marine recreation and sport fishing, coral reefs play an important role in the economies of countries all around the world. By one estimate, coral reefs provide economic goods and services worth about $375 billion each year. NOAA suggests that coral reefs in southeast Florida have an asset value of $8.5 billion, generating $4.4 billion in local sales, $2 billion in local income, and 70,400 full and part-time jobs.

The fish that grow and live on coral reefs are a significant food source for people worldwide. In the United States, about half of all federally managed fisheries depend on coral reefs. NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service estimates the annual commercial value of U.S. fisheries from coral reefs to be over $100 million. Reef-based recreational fisheries generate over $100 million annually in the United States.

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