Stand up and be counted for recreational fishing in Australia

With the impacts of COVID-19 likely to be felt for sometime to come, it’s more important than ever for recreational fishers to stand up and be counted. Policy makers and funders need to have a clear understanding of how important recfishing is to the country’s and to the State’s lifestyle. 

The peak body for recreational fishing in Australia (the Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation) and the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation are conducting a national survey to value the social and economic contributions of recreational fishers and quantify the benefits of recreational fishing. 
The National Recreational Fishing Survey will provide the first up-to-date picture of the value of recreational fishing in Australia since 2001.Being able to define the economic value of recfishing to governments will clearly strengthen our hand when it comes to decisions being made that support our lifestyle.
To take part in the survey and find out more about it click here
In a post COVID-19 world, it’s also going to be increasingly important for us to be able to demonstrate the mental health and well-being benefits that we all know fishing provides. We have already seen how the State Government in WA has recognised the importance of recfishing as a safe and healthy activity in the way that fishing is one of the activities for which restrictions have been specifically lifted.
As a sector, we will need to build on this knowledge and having good scientific data through surveys like this will allow us to make even stronger cases for many of the initiatives that make fishing better.
Check out this video by TV fishing personality Steve ‘Starlo’ Starling on why you should consider taking part in the survey 

Photo courtesy Ben Svenson

There are two versions of the survey – a short version and a longer form and if you want you can also take part in an ongoing monthly survey.
As an added incentive to participate there’s also some cool fishing prizes to be won including a grand prize of a trip worth up to $5,000 with a charter operator of your choice.

Great survey with prizes to help grow our understanding of artificial structures’ value to recfishers

As much of the WA fishing community is aware, the north-west of Western Australia has both productive fisheries and extensive offshore oil and gas infrastructure.

A great amberjack caught by Nick at the Key Biscayne wreck out from Lancelin.

These structures support a range of demersal and pelagic fish that have all the ingredients for world class fishing but are often within no-fishing zones due to oil and gas exclusions.

As discussed in the latest article from editor of Western Angler Magazine, Scott Coghlan, there are some great opportunities that could benefit the fishers and divers of WA by repurposing offshore oil and gas structures into artificial reefs. Read what Scott had to say here.

Recfishwest would rather see offshore infrastructure retained and enhanced to form thriving marine habitats to help build resilience in our oceans and provide communities with more fishing opportunities for many years to come.

The following survey link is a great opportunity to quantify how important these structures are to fishing and diving and to highlight why they should be retained and enhanced.

Survey link here.

Also anyone who fishers off any of WA’s jetties, piers or platforms are asked to complete the survey and demonstrate the value these structures are to your fishing.

Everyone who completes the survey will also go in the draw to win one of three $750 visa cards that are up for grabs.

The top banner image is of the Key Biscayne which is an example of a rig that is now a world-class dive site and exceptional fishing location after it was lost in a storm on route to Fremantle in 1983 and now rests in 42m of water, 20km south-west from Lancelin. Picture from 

Recreational Netting Under Review – Have Your Say

Last month Recfishwest were pleased to receive a letter from Fisheries Division of the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (Fisheries) informing us of an upcoming review of recreational set and haul netting with the aim of simplifying the rules and developing practical management arrangements.

In order to provide Fisheries with advice about recreational netting that adequately reflects current community activities and attitudes, we have developed an online survey through which you can share your views.

If you are passionate about netting (either supportive or against) this opportunity to shape the rules should not be missed.

Complete the survey here.