The Recfishwest community grant program is designed to enable community-based groups to undertake projects that provide a benefit to recreational fishing in their local area.
This program directly supports communities to undertake a wide range of projects. To see what was funded through the Recfishwest community grants program in Round 9 click here.
The grants are available to a maximum of $8,000 for each applicant although preference will be given to applications under $5,000. Applications which demonstrate the support of local recreational fishers will rank highly.
This scheme is funded using recreational fishing licence fees through the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund.
Earlier in the month you may have read the latest announcement regarding just how much fishing matters to West Aussies, after a report titled ‘Economic Dimensions of Recreational Fishing in Western Australia’ detailed the boost to the economy from fishing.
The report showed every year $2.4 billion is spent by Western Australian’s on fishing related activities including fishing trips, travel, fishing gear and boat fishing costs. A whopping $1.8 billion is spent by West Aussies on fishing trips alone! You can ‘Catch the stats’ here.
What does this mean for you and your fishing?
We have known for a long time that fishing provides a huge number of health and well-being benefits and now we know the huge economic benefit it also provides. With fishing now recognised by Government on an economic scale similar to many large industries, it makes it easier for us to advocate on fishers’ behalf.
Economics are an important factor in decision making and being able to quantify our annual contribution to the economy gives Recfishwest and the fishing community another string to our bow when seeking changes that enhance our fishing experiences.
How will Government recognise fishing from now on?
This report gives the Government an indicator of what’s possible if we manage our fisheries to support great fishing experiences. $2.4 billion of economic activity is the new benchmark which can continue to grow.
The McGowan Government wants WA’s recreational fishing experience to get even better and build on our reputation for having some of the most sustainable fisheries and being one of the best places in the world to fish. The Premier recently stated ‘’we are doing everything we can to enhance our tourism industry and recreational fishing is a part of that.”
We are pleased to see fishing incorporated into the state’s tourism agenda as we’d much rather see people spending time fishing in our regions than heading overseas. We expect the Governments recently announced $12 million boost to promote WA to international holiday-makers would include promotion of the great fishing opportunities on offer in Western Australia throughout the whole year.
By going fishing, you are supporting local businesses including retail, hospitality and tourism, which in turn support local jobs which is positive for any Government that wants to grow an industry.
Government now have a dollar value against fishing and can potentially put more money aside for future investments, knowing just how much economic activity is generated through fishing.
Some examples of the Governments investments in fishing over the past two years include funding for fishing safety, the voluntary commercial buyback of fisheries in the Peel-Harvey Estuary and Derby using recreational fishing licence money and support for new artificial reefs in Esperance, Exmouth and Ocean Reef..
What will Recfishwest do with this report?
Recfishwest will continue to ensure your fishing experiences are celebrated, promoted and enhanced by utilising the data in this report to make sure your voice is heard by decision makers! $2.4 billion is the new baseline for recreational fishing value; if fishing experiences are enhanced, no-one knows just how high this figure could grow.
Working with Government and Tourism providers to promote our great fishing in WA, articulate the importance of fishing in specific regional areas, advocate for fishing to be put on your local agenda with Local Government and Regional Development Commissions are just a few of the avenues we will pursue to grow this great lifestyle!
The best way to maintain and grow fishing 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 stock and that’s exactly what we strive for at Recfishwest.
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?
What can I do as an individual to make fishing better and have my voice heard?
The best way to make fishing better in WA is to help to protect, promote and enhance it. You can play a role in this via various initiatives such as:
By becoming a Recfishwest member
Submitting an application for our annual community grants program
Propose an initiative and get funding through our Recreational Fishing Initiatives Funding Program
Familiarise yourself with regional specific recreational issues
Be the eyes and ears on the ground, let us know when something isn’t right in your area
Stay informed – we spend a lot of time keeping you up to date on fishing issues right across the state. By educating yourself on fishing issues you can have better informed opinions, rather than relying on social media for your information – trust us, most of what’s out there is wrong!
Download the Recfishwest app and be familiar with fishing rules
Go fishing, have a great time and return home safe!
Above all we want to hear from you, talk to us, participate in our surveys, tell your family and friends about us, provide submissions when issues arise and tell us about your fishing experiences, what’s good, what’s bad and what would make your fishing better.
The week long GAMEX competition held by the Exmouth Game Fishing Club’s (EGFC) from March 16-24 brought thousands of visitors once again to the regional town of Exmouth. As one of the biggest fishing competitions in Australia, GAMEX provides significant benefits back to the local community, including in influx of visitors associated with the event. The importance of events such as this to local communities can not be underestimated, with previous GAMEX events having injected over $1 million into the local economy in just over a week that competitors and their families spend in town.
Opportunities for tourism and marketing around fishing events are enormous and can reap huge rewards for small coastal communities.
‘We see people hiring a car, filling up at the petrol station, driving out to their accommodation, dining in local restaurants and heading out on the water, stocking up on their bait and tackle supply before-hand. WA is renowned for quality recreational fishing experiences and with over 266 fishers in this year’s event, it demonstrates once again the important contribution the EGFC provides to the Exmouth Community.’’ Andrew Rowland, Recfishwest.
Exmouth Tackle Word Owner Jeni Gates said that events such as GAMEX have highlighted the quality of fishing available in Exmouth to an international community.
“Some of the numbers of billfish we have seen caught and released during GAMEX over the past few years combined with the 1084lb blue marlin caught earlier this year has really put Exmouth on the map as a world class billfish destination.”
“Over the last 12 months we’ve seen an influx of anglers from all around the world. Earlier this year we had multiple families visit form South East Asia who all came with the intent of tangling with a big Marlin” Jeni said.
GAMEX also highlights just how important fishing is to the social fabric of small coastal communities.
‘’It’s more than just a fishing tournament. The GAMEX social calendar features functions, children’s clinics, gourmet evenings, family fun days and team dress up nights. The event also includes scientific studies, educational sessions and product information. In short, a wealth of activities for both anglers, and non-anglers.’’ A spokesperson from the Ningaloo Visitors Centre said.
Fishing continues to provide significant health and wellbeing benefits in many small coastal communities in WA, and fishing events such as GAMEX continue to promote the quality of fishing experiences available on our doorstep.
Recfishwest looks forward to being a part of GAMEX 2019 and congratulates the EGFC and Exmouth community on pulling together such a beneficial event.
Recfishwest is proud of the annual Recfishwest community grant scheme. This scheme is an opportunity for community groups to apply for funding to support community projects that make fishing better in WA. Applications for Round 7 of the Recfishwest community grant scheme came from a broad range of community groups including fishing clubs and associations, health care providers, sea rescue groups, local government, environmental groups, men’s sheds and disability advocates.
There were some fantastic applications for fun, exciting and innovative ways to improve fishing experiences. Recfishwest takes great pleasure in providing community groups with the opportunities to make some dreams a reality, and we respect and acknowledge that often these small community groups have the ability to stretch a dollar much further than anyone could think possible.
The partnerships Recfishwest builds with community groups are equally valuable for us in supporting and hearing the wishes of the fishing community and ultimately working together for the goal of making fishing better for West Australians.
Recipients of Recfishwest Community Grant scheme – Round 7 funding include:
1. Mandalay Holiday Resort – To continue their popular family fishing event
2. Fervor – A seafood cook book utilising native Australian bush herbs and spices to complement our local seafood.
3. Fremantle Sailing club – To promote their Calamari Classic event alongside an educational workshop to support the occasion.
4. Fishability – Funding to assist in improving their wheelchair friendly fishing vessel the Nev Thomas.
5. Kalbarri Offshore & Angling Club – To once again support their highly successfully Kid’s Whiting Competition during the school holidays.
6. The Australian National Sportfishing Association WA Inc – Modernising the way in which they collect data for their West Tag program.
7. Esperance Deep Sea Angling Club – To continue the ever popular Family Fishing Fun Day, fishing education and safety as well as improving rock fishing safety infrastructure.
8. Albany Offshore Boating and Fishing Club – Support for their Easter rock fishing safety campaigning at Salmon Holes.
9. Esperance Land Based Fishing Club – A grant has been awarded to help build their annual fishing event.
10. Greenhead Men’s Shed – These local champions have received a grant to go towards the cost of designing, obtaining approvals and construction of a fish cleaning station for the local boat ramp.
11. Surfcasting and Angling Club of WA – The purchase of safety equipment and life jackets for dry casting days and fishing field days.
12. WA Underwater Club – Funding to educate on safe and effective practice for freedivers and spearfishers including regional representation and training course subsidies.
13. Breast Cancer Care WA – Continued support for the Purple Fly Fishing program providing the opportunity for those profoundly affected by breast cancer to enjoy the experience of fly fishing in a serene natural setting.
Mandalay Holiday Resort owner Clive Johnson and previous Recfishwest Community Grant recipient said, “The owners and staff of Mandalay Holiday Resort would like to thank Recfishwest for making some funds available to sponsor this great event (Mandalay Family Fishing Competition 2015/16). It was great to see kids get such a thrill for catching their first fish and making fishing available to so many families.”
Recfishwest continues to support local community ventures, and commend all the fantastic work and initiative taken by the community to date, completed through these grants.
This year Recfishwest and Breast Cancer Care WA ran a specialised ‘Purple Fly Fishing’ weekend for clients recovering from breast cancer. The weekend was held in Manjimup on October 16, 17 and 18 with 19 breast cancer clients, accompanied by support staff from Breast Cancer Care WA, descending on the beautiful surrounds of the South West to partake in a spot of fly fishing.
Funded through a Recfishwest Community Grant, the Purple Fly Fishing weekend aims to offer these women the opportunity to gain a reprieve from the challenges of breast cancer, while also teaching them the art of fly fishing.
Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland said the weekend offers participants a hands-on introduction to fly fishing and an opportunity to get outdoors while learning a unique form of fishing that can aid in their recovery.
“This weekend provides the opportunity for women affected by breast cancer to develop friendships and support networks with other participants and hopefully catch a few fish as they learn the basics of fly fishing” Dr Rowland said.
Breast Cancer Care WA Chief Executive Officer Zoe McAlpine said Breast Cancer Care WA are so grateful to Recfishwest for this opportunity to provide a wonderful experience for our clients going through breast cancer.
“The chance to get away for the weekend, learn a new skill in fly fishing and to focus purely on themselves and their journey is so valuable” Mrs McAlpine said.
“This year in Western Australia it is expected that over 1,500 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and we aim to be there to support every person diagnosed – thanks to the generosity of Recfishwest and the community this is made possible.”
Studies have shown that the casting motion of fly fishing, is similar to recovery exercises prescribed for women who’ve undergone surgery or radiation treatment. In addition to the physical benefits for participants, the gentle casting motion helps to promote soft tissue stretching and improve joint mobility for women recovering from surgery and those managing lymphedema.
Recfishwest has conducted similar fishing clinics in the past (Pink Fly Fishing Clinics) for women affected by breast cancer which has been hugely popular.
Why purple and fly fishing? Each year in Australia over 13,500 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and one in eight women in Australia will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
Breast Cancer CareWA is a Western Australian charity that provides personalised emotional, practical and financial support to people affected by breast cancer. Breast Cancer Care WA receive no government funding and their activities are entirely reliant on the generosity of the Western Australian community. They are famous for the charity event Purple Bra Day, raising funds and awareness for breast cancer clients.