Rec fishing on the rise in South Australia


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THE most popular fishing spot in South Australia is the Spencer Gulf and King George whiting, blue swimmer crabs and tommy ruff are caught and kept more than any other species, latest survey results show.

Fisheries minister Leon Bignell said the SA Recreational Fishing Survey also showed the much-loved pastime was increasing in popularity.

This comes on the back of similar survey results from Queensland last week that showed a similar rise in rec fishing participation.

“Nearly one in six South Australians – or 277,000 people participated in recreational fishing during the 12 month survey in 2013/14,” Bignell said.

“This is an increase of 40,000 people since the survey was undertaken in 2007/08.”

The survey also revealed boat-based fishing is now more popular than shore-based fishing and a rod and line remains the preferred method of fishing for 84 per cent of those surveyed.

“Recreational fishing remains a vital economic driver for coastal towns and communities and businesses such as tackle shops and boating businesses, as well as local shops, hospitality and tourism operators all benefit,” he said.

“The results also show fishing is capturing the attention of more young people, with five to 14 year olds representing the highest participation group.

“The greatest increase in participation was five to 14 year-old girls, which almost doubled from 14.8 per cent to 26.2 per cent since 2007/08.

“It’s great to see so many young South Australians getting out on the water with their families and developing a healthy respect for our fisheries.

“Importantly, these results will help our fisheries managers and scientists sustainably manage and preserve fish stocks.”

RecFish SA Executive Director David Ciaravolo said the results were pleasing.

“The updated snapshot of recreational fishing data provides valuable insights and we are pleased to see the survey shows an increase in fishing participation, particularly among young South Australians,” Ciaravolo said.

The SA Recreational Fishing Survey was undertaken in 2013/14. It was then collated using additional Census and ABS data. Results can be viewed on the SA Fisheries website.

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