What $2.4 Billion Dollars Means for Your Fishing

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.

Will Chal and Cahal Dalm enjoy getting out on the water any chance they get

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.

Steve Hart enjoying the 12 month rock lobster season

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.

Recfishwest will continue to enhance your fishing experiences

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.

Go fishing, have a great time and return home safe!

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?

For a full breakdown of all the stats click here.

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.

Together we can ensure great fishing experiences for all in the WA community forever. Photo credit Perth Fishing Safaris.

 

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:

Fishing Opportunities Increase This Season

Autumn is a magical time for fishing right across WA. The summer winds ease and the fishing conditions are often some of the best of the year, coinciding happily with some fantastic fishing opportunities. In the South-West, the Salmon run could well continue for some time around Perth, if last year’s lingering schools are any indication. Many of the fish should be returning south in the ‘back run’ and this will provide more good salmon fishing along the south coast, in particular.

Metro anglers should also find Skippy and Herring abundant around reefy structure, while river fishers will find Black Bream moving downstream. Storm chasers will utilise foul weather to target Pink Snapper, and the odd Mulloway, from metro rock walls. Jurien Bay is a popular destination during autumn, offering Spanish Mackerel and some great offshore fishing, while shore anglers wanting to target spaniards can try ballooning around Wagoe. Autumn is also the time to try for a rare Dhufish from the shore between Geraldton and Dongara. It’s also a time when many anglers from the South-West head north looking for warmer weather and Exmouth can be dynamic at this time of year, with favourable weather conditions offering a wide range of options.

Offshore there will be good numbers of Billfish and Spanish Mackerel, while shore anglers can tangle with Spangled Emperor, Trevally and Queenfish. The Gulf is fishing well for big Queenfish and Golden Trevally, with a number of huge Giant Trevally also cruising the shallows. Autumn is also a great time of the year to find massive Giant Herring over a metre long. The Barramundi activity in the north should continue and there will still be good fish on offer from Karratha northwards, with fizzers and poppers worth a try at night. Threadfin Salmon should fish well in the rejuvenated Roebuck Bay for some time yet.

Wherever you are in WA, or wherever you’re planning on travelling too, there’s plenty of safe and accessible fishing options for you, your mates and family to enjoy. For more on what’s biting or to learn where to catch visit www.ilovefishing.com.au Like always, please send your fishing photos for our state-wide fishing reports! Send them recfish@recfishwest.org.au or tag us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.