The state’s largest ever recreational fishing survey reveals that approximately 700,000 Queenslanders go recreational fishing, crabbing or prawning.
Fisheries Queensland senior fisheries scientist Dr Stephen Taylor said the Statewide Recreational Fishing Survey showed fishing remained an enormously popular recreational activity.
'The current number of recreational fishers in Queensland represents 17 per cent of the Queensland population aged five years or older,' Dr Taylor said.
'This participation rate of 17 per cent is much higher than that of other popular outdoor activities such as golf, cycling and swimming.
'This is a great result for the fishing sector, given people have so many choices now as to how they spend their time.'
The survey collected information about the number of fishers in Queensland and their characteristics in the 12 months prior to July 2010.
• Mackay had the highest participation rate of recreational fishers, with approximately 28 per cent of Mackay residents fishing recreationally
• The Wide Bay/Burnett region was the second highest, where 26 per cent of residents fished recreationally
• More than a third of all recreational fishers – 260,000 – lived in the Brisbane region, however this is down on previous results
• The combined region of the Central West, North West and South West Queensland had the fewest recreational fishers
• The 30-45 year age group had the most recreational fishers, but the highest participation rate was in the 5-15 year age group
• Overall, while the recreational fishing participation rate in Queensland of 17 per cent is much higher than in many other parts of the world, the actual number of fishers in the state is down since 2000. (This is not unexpected due to a range of economic, social and cultural factors not necessarily directly associated with the fishing experience).
Dr Taylor said it was important participation rates were measured to help understand the make-up of Queensland’s recreational fishing community.
'Knowledge of how many recreational fishers we have, their age, sex and area of residence is important for government, recreational fishing stakeholder groups and the tackle and tourism industry,' he said.
'This information helps to ensure that our fisheries are managed sustainably and the fishing experience enhanced.
'Measuring recreational fishing participation rates through time allows us to see how the demographics of recreational fishers changes.
'For example, when our latest results are compared to the 2000-2001 National Recreational and Indigenous Fishing Survey, we can see that the number of fishers under 45 years of age has declined over the past 10 years, while the number of fishers over 45 years has increased. This may reflect the ageing population.'
A final report which includes statewide recreational catch estimates will be available mid 2012.
For more information on the Statewide Recreational Fishing Survey visit www.fisheries.qld.gov.au
or call 13 25 23.
Latest fisheries information is also available via Twitter – www.twitter.com/fisheriesQLD
or find us on Facebook under Fisheries Queensland.