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National recreational and indigenous fishing survey.

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Media Release

The Hon Mark Vaile, MP

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry





7 June 1999



Federal Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Minister Mark Vaile, today said that ma nagement of Australia’s recreational fishing industry would benefit from a national survey to be held next year.

"The survey, the first of its type to be conducted on the recreational industry, will target 80,000 households Australia-wide over 12 months. It will gather information on participation, demographics, fishing effort and catch, and will lead to assessments of attitudinal, social and spending aspects of recreational fishing," Mr Vaile said.

"Fisheries management and research agencies need this information to help improve management over the longer term.

"The sheer number and growing impact of recreational fishers, and the increasing political nature of the stock allocation debate, make it important for fisheries managers to have better data on which to base decisions and develop regulations," he said.

"In combination with commercial catch data, recreational data will be used to get the full picture of the overall catch, including that of different fish species."

Cost of the survey, including development and implementation, will be $3 million. It will be funded primarily from the Natural Heritage Trust’s Fisheries Action Program, with contributions from the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, and the States and Territories.

"Recreational fishing is an important leisure activity for three to four million Australians, and some 122,000 fishers were identified as members of fishing clubs in 1996-97," Mr Vaile said.

"Recreational fishing supports about 90,000 Australian jobs. Annual turnover in the tackle and bait industry tops $170 million, and the recreational boating industry, around 60 per cent fishing-related, accounts for a further $500 million in turnover."

Mr Vaile said as well as looking at domestic recreational fishing, the survey would examine the impact of overseas visitors and fishing by indigenous Australians.

"International tourists spend over $210 million on fishing in Australia each year, with significant flow-on benefits to regional areas including employment in the tackle, boating, tourism, charter and associated industries," Mr Vaile said.

Further inquiries:

Minister’s Office Bruce Mills (02) 6277 7520



jy  1999-06-09  12:23