18 August 2012
The sustainability and benefits of recreational fishing now and into the future will be among the main topics of discussion at the National Recreational Fishing Conference on the Gold Coast today.
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, who opened the conference, said it was an opportunity for the recreational fishing sector to come together and discuss a range of issues that are important for the future of the sector.
"Recreational fishing is a great Australian pastime. It’s enjoyed by many of us and it has an important place in our local communities and economies, especially in rural and regional areas,” Minister Ludwig said.
“It’s great to see rec fishers from across Australia come together to discuss the sustainability of the sector for current and future generations, especially in regards to the relationship between fishing and the environment.
“This Government is a supporter of recreational fishing and we will continue to work with the sector on research and projects that will help build a strong future for a pastime that is part and parcel of the Aussie way of life.”
Minister Ludwig said in support of the National Recreational Fishing Industry Development Strategy, 10 recreational fishing projects totaling $1.74 million have received funding.
“These projects will aim to support the sustainability of the sector by providing national education, identifying climate change issues and solutions and monitoring fish stock, among other things,” he said.
In conjunction with the conference, the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation will today release its report: A socioeconomic evaluation of three eastern Australian game-fishing regions.
“Economically, one of the key findings of the report was that in the three regional locations evaluated, more than $28 million is contributed to the community by game fishers,” Minister Ludwig said.
“Tournament game fishers spend an estimated $20 million to participate in Port Stephens tournaments, $7.1 million in Bermagui tournaments and $1.5 million in Mooloolaba tournaments. Many small businesses in these communities rely on the income generated by large industry events such as game-fishing tournaments.”
The report also found that the benefits of game fishing to local communities go beyond the generation of income and employment, with tournaments in particular contributing to social vitality by bringing people together for special events, enhancing community identity and through direct sponsorship of community activities.
Ahead of the conference, Minister Ludwig yesterday chaired a meeting of the Recreational Fishers roundtable.
For more information visit the DAFF website, recreational fishing.