Western Australia’s $2.4 billion recreational fishing lifestyle

Fast facts:

    • WA’s hundreds of thousands of fishers choose to spend $2.4 billion every year on fishing;
    • There is $1.8 billion spent on fishing trips alone;
    • Healthy abundant fish stocks are the key to great fishing experiences.
Recfishwest Chairman Tim Bray with Premier Mark McGowan.

Recfishwest, Premier Mark McGowan and Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly today launched the Economic Dimensions of Recreational Fishing in Western Australia report in Fremantle.

In a WA-first, the economic study detailed the annual economic spend by recreational fishers on fishing related activities such as fishing trips and travel, fishing gear and boat fishing costs.

It found a staggering $2.4 billion is spent by the State’s recfishers each year.

Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland said the figure was considerable, but not a surprise.

“We know almost 750,000 Western Australians choose to go fishing as part of their lifestyle, that’s at least one person in every third house who goes fishing each year,” Dr Rowland said.

“The $2.4 billion yearly injection into the state’s economy demonstrates that recreational fishing in WA matters.

“It’s important to note this is a voluntary spend from our community, it’s not a tax, people aren’t forced to spend their hard earned dollars to go fishing, they choose to.

“The $2.4 billion is the new baseline for recreational fishing value, as long as fishing experiences are protected and enhanced this figure will continue to grow.

“We have known for a long time that fishing provides a huge number of health and wellbeing benefits for our community and now we know the huge economic benefits it also provides our economy.

Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly, Recfishwest CEO DR Andrew Rowland, Premier Mark McGowan and Recfishwest Chairman Tim Bray.

“The best way to maintain and grow these benefits is to ensure people have a great time whenever they go fishing in our great State.

“To achieve this, we need more than simply sustainable fish populations, we need healthy oceans and waterways managed for abundant and plentiful fish stocks.

“Imagine if you had the chance to catch the fish of a lifetime, every time you went fishing – wouldn’t you go fishing more often?”

The report found West Australians love to travel throughout WA for fishing, spending $1.8 billion on fishing trips each year, $160 million on fishing gear such as pots, rods and reels and $390 million on purchasing and maintaining new and used fishing boats.

“We are very pleased to see the Premier today supporting our desire to see fishing incorporated into the state’s tourism agenda, we’d much rather see people spending time fishing in our regions than heading overseas,” Dr Rowland said.

Read WA Premier Hon. Mark McGowan and Fisheries Minister Hon. Dave Kelly’s Media release here

Fact File:

  • Economic Dimensions of Recreational Fishing in Western Australia was conducted by Economic Research Associates and supported by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and Recfishwest. The project was funded through recreational fishing licence fees through the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund;
  • The total expenditure figure in the research is not the total ‘value’ of the recreational fishing industry, simply what West Aussies spend each year on their fishing activities;
  • The report found 45 per cent of fishers State-wide only fish from the shore, 24 per cent from a boat only, 31 per cent from both boat and shore;
  • An average boat based fisher spends $13,559 per year (this does not include boat purchase) and average shore based fishers spends $2,253 per year;
  • What residents of each WA region spend on fishing per year:
    • Gascoyne – $28 million
    • Goldfields-Esperance – $147 miilion
    • Great Southern -$ 46 million
    • Kimberley – $184 million
    • Metro – $1.1 billion
    • Mid West – $76 million
    • Peel – $217 million
    • Pilbara – $190 million
    • South West – $306 million
    • Wheatbelt – $43 million

Economic Dimensions of Recreational Fishing in Western Australia Report

Premier Mark McGowan recfishing economic value audio:

Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly recfishing economic value audio:

Recfishwest Chairman Tim Bray recfishing economic value audio: