Fishing still a big drawcard in the north

THE recent release of recreational fishing participation numbers in Queensland has been welcomed by the state’s peak representative body.

Chairman of Sunfish Qld, Mr. David Bateman AM, has welcomed the latest Fisheries Queensland tally of over 700,000 rec fishing participants which reveals the pastime is still one of the most popular outdoor activities for Queenslanders – regardless of age or gender. This updates the most recent survey figures from 2005.

According to Bateman, QLD’s south east corner is well represented but in the central and northern areas there is a higher percentage per population who go fishing. He adds that a more complete picture of partcipation numbers would be achieved if anglers who only have mobile phones and interstate and international tourist anglers were included – the last survey figures highlighted over 250,000 such anglers.

One worrying aspect, according to Bateman, is that participation numbers have not increased in the past five years in line with the state’s population growth; which he says shows some reluctance for people to take up fishing as a pastime due to complex laws and Marine Park closures.

Queensland’s new LNP government in their election policy stated that there would be “a special focus on important recreational fishing areas” and “increased recreational fishing opportunities”.

Sunfish says it looks forward to working with the Minister and Fisheries Queensland to achieve both these policies and increase participation in angling.

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