Following our recent story on a Liberal National Party Member questioning QLD government motives for a recreational fishing survey, Fisho has received a response from Jim Groves, Managing Director of Fisheries Queensland.
The crux of the story last week was LNP Member for Cleveland Dr Robinson’s call for Fisheries Minister Tim Mulherin to say whether findings from a recreational fishing survey would be used to lock anglers out of areas.
“Anglers have not forgotten 2008 when they cooperated with a government survey,” Dr Robinson had said in a press release.
“In good faith, many answered questions over the phone and at boat ramps across Moreton Bay about where they fished and what they caught, unaware of the Bligh Government’s deal with the greens.”
More on last week’s story can be found here.
In his response to Dr Robinson’s claims of survey findings being used to lock anglers out of areas Jim Groves told Fisho: “It is important to understand that information collected through this survey is on a regional and statewide basis. The survey is not designed to drill down to specific areas – this means the information could not be useful in determining green zones for local fishing spots.”
In response to Robinson’s reference to a fishing survey conducted in 2008, Groves said:
“A recreational fishing phone survey has not been conducted since 2005.
“Since this time, Queensland has seen significant change, particularly in terms of population in coastal areas this is why collecting up-to-date data now is so important.
“A continuing program of boat ramp surveys has been undertaken, but a broader target audience is needed for us to have a fuller understanding of recreational fishing throughout the State.”
Groves adds “To make good decisions about our fisheries resources, we need good data on recreational fishing participation, catch, and the value of the industry on a statewide basis.”
CEO of Recfish Australia Len Olyott says the survey provides valuable information that can help ensure the future of recreational fishing in Australia.
“Information about the number of recreational fishers and their economic contribution to Australian communities is vital if we are to convince government to take us seriously. National statistics for recreational fishing participation are a decade old and a lot has happened since 2001.
“Recfish Australia fully supports the collection of recreational fishing information provided it is used for the purposes for which it is collected. Government needs to be open and transparent about what those purposes are. Tasmania, South Australia, the Northern Territory and now Queensland are all using similar methods to collect comparable data. Hopefully the other states will follow suit and we will have updated, relevant information about Australian recreational fishers.”