Seriously, There’s No Interest In Fishing Any More?

  • Who else keeps hearing the commentary on social media about fishing in Australia dying from lack of interest? Sure, the industry might be going through a tough time, the tackle trade especially seems to be doing it tough. And there are things to be concerned about…… like fires, droughts, fish kills. All of those distract us from fishing, put pressure on communities and have an adverse impact on fish stocks.

  • All industries and recreational pursuits have ebbs and flows. All industries and recreational pursuits have ups and downs. So tough times don’t necessarily mean that the end is nigh. It could just be that we’re going through a low point, which is what I reckon is going on.

  • There are lots of positive signs but they are being ignored by those pesky glass half empty guys. Measures to improve and shore up fish stocks and recreational opportunities abound. Like net free zones, habitat enhancement/restoration projects.

  • There are other positive signs for the future of recreational fishing too. Spend some time on Facebook or Instagram and see how many fishing pics get posted every minute, there’s no sign of that declining. And the state and commonwealth rec fishing surveys also show some great signs. Increased participation by women and especially kids in the 4-15yrs age group, for example.

Benefits Of Recreational Fishing To Australia?

  • Fishing creates health benefits (mental and physical) for participants, hence the number of programs available for breast cancer sufferers, PTSD affected individuals.

  • The intense interest and thirst for knowledge of keen recreational anglers has created an army of people with an interest in waterway health, fish stocks and so on…… that army is out on the water in droves and is an important source of intel for fisheries and waterways managers.

  • It’s well established that fishing can drive the economies of small regional towns, or at least make a significant contribution to the economy.

What Can We DonTo Improve The Future?

  • If you’ve found yourself being negative of late about the future of fishing in Australia, please give yourself a stiff uppercut! In my opinion, there are more reasons to be optimistic about the level of interest in fishing than there are reasons to be pessimistic. Talking up fishing will benefit the industry and the sport in the long run.
  • Join a fishing club, LMAC, stocking group, kids clinic, Oz Fish, tournament or other fishing-related group or event  and (preferably) get active, Politicians, beauracrats and decision makers cite the decline in fishing club memberships as an indication of the uptake of fishing.
  • Get your kids involved in fishing and support kids/family fishing events. Young kids are getting involved in fishing, we need to keep them active and interested so we have the next generation of fisho’s, aquatic scientists and managers.
  • Head over the the Commonwealth Government’s Recreation Fishing Survey and fill in the survey. The information collected will help no end with lobbying, planning and demonstrating the importance of recreational fishing to Australia.

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