Australian’s enjoy a wide range of recreational fisheries – from northern estuaries for Barramundi, to southern waters for snapper and King George Whiting, and inland waters for trout and native fish such as Murray Cod.

About 80 per cent of the recreational catch is from salt water – in estuaries, off beaches and from the ocean. The remaining 20 per cent is fished from fresh water – from rivers, lakes, dams and ponds.

Recreational fishing is a huge activity in Australia with about 3.5 million people fishing each year. It is also big business with anglers spending about $650 million just on tackle. That doesn’t include the $2.5 billion spend on boats 4×4 vehicles, accommodation, travel, charters, and all the other accessories.

For most people, the major reason for recreational fishing is to relax and unwind. Very few recreational fishers are motivated primarily by the need to catch fish for food.

Apart from being a source of food, fisheries resources are valued by the community in other ways. People derive reassurance knowing that the environment and the diversity of species are being maintained and that fisheries resources exist. The aquatic environment is also used by people, particularly tourists, who do not capture the resource, but simple observe and enjoy it.

Representative Organisation

RecFish Australia is the peak representative organisation for recreational fishers.

Recreational and Indigenous Fishing Survey of Australia

In May 2000 the National Recreational and Indigenous Fishing Survey of Australia (NRIFS) was commenced and ran for twelve months through a screening survey and diary survey of intending fishers. This survey provides a good summary of Recreational and Indigenous fishing In Australia. To view the survey visit National Recreational and Indigenous Fishing Survey of Australia.

New Recreational Fishing Research Projects

The RFAC recommended to the Australian Government that a suite of projects, under seven broad categories would be appropriately should underpin the RFIDS program. Projects funded under the categories outlined below will form the basis of the program with applications against these scopes being invited soon.

Visit the Recreational Fishing Industry Development Strategy page for more information.