A year-long survey on the habits of South Australia’s recreational fishers reveals the changing face of this popular pastime.
The South Australian Recreational Fishing Survey 2013/14 was conducted between December 2013 and November 2014, and shows marked changes in recreational fishing behaviour since the last survey in 2007/08.
Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Minister, Leon Bignell, said the survey showed that more than 277,000 fishers participated in recreational fishing during 2013/14, which is a jump of 40,000 since the last survey in 2007/08 and equates to around one in six South Australians.
“With so many South Australians casting a line, it’s clear that fishing remains a much-loved recreational pursuit – and excitingly, it’s one that is capturing more young people, with five to 14 year olds representing the highest participation group.”
The group with the greatest increase in participation rates was among five to 14 year-old females, which almost doubled from 14.8 per cent to 26.2 per cent since the last survey.
Boat-based fishing has also surpassed shore-based fishing as the dominant fishing platform, while fishing with a rod and line remains the preferred fishing method for 84 per cent of fishers.
The Spencer Gulf has been revealed as the most popular fishing location.
Mr Bignell said the results support the view that recreational fishing remains a vital economic driver for coastal towns and communities in South Australia.
“When you have a thriving recreational fishing scene you’ll see people travel to favourite spots to fish. That not only supports regional employment, but brings business to fishing-related industries such as tackle shops and boating businesses, as well as local shops, hospitality and tourism sectors,” he said.