Revenue from the sale of sea fishing licences supports the Fishwise fund. This pays for the management of recreational fisheries and funds recreational fishing activities under the following Programs:
- Licensing and Administration - licensing system and database management, sales and distribution of licences, production and distribution measuring gauges to licence holders, phone enquiry service.
- Recreational Management - core fisheries management and staff.
- Communication – fisheries awareness and education such as this sea fishing guide, rulers, gauges and brochures.
- Fishcare – promotes community involvement in fishing, better fishing practices and protecting fish resources.
- Resource sustainability – funds scheduled recreational fishery surveys and other research.
- Fishwise Community Grant Fund - funded the peak fishing body TARFish until June 2017. When there are sufficient funds, the fund may open to applications from individuals, organisations and community groups to fund projects which improve the management of recreational sea fisheries and provide community education on recreational fishing issues.
The Wild Fisheries Management Branch provides a report that consolidates information relating to recreational sea fishing licence trends, revenue, program allocations and outputs for each year.
Download the report Recreational Fisheries - Licence Trends, Fishwise Fund Status & Achievements in 2016/17
Summary of Recreational Sea Fishing Licence trends and Fishwise Fund Status for 2016/17:
- Recreational sea fishing licence holders increased by almost 1000 individuals from the previous year to just under 20,000.
- There were just over 15,000 rock lobster pot licences. This is an increase of 6% from the previous year, however numbers remain relatively lower - 7.6% lower than the ten year average. There were just over 8000 rock lobster dive licences - a 5.5% increase from the previous year and 6.5% lower than the previous 10 year average.
- Licence numbers are impacted by Biotoxin closures. Biotoxin closures were less extensive than 2015/16. The Eastern Region rock lobster season opened as scheduled on 19 November 2016. Elevated level of biotoxins delayed the opening in the Maria Island Biotoxin Zone which opened 11 December. The opening of the Furneaux Biotoxin Zone was delayed until Wednesday 21 November 2016 due to delayed sampling and testing rather than elevated biotoxins.
Fishwise Fund Status:
- Just over $1.215 million was collected from the sale of recreational sea fishing licences.
- All licence fees except the agreed consolidated revenue contribution of $255,000 was made available to the Fishwise Fund. This totalled $960,000 - an increase of $70,000 from the previous year. If CPI is considered, Fishwise revenue is around 20% less in real terms than 5 years ago.
- During 2016/17, the Fishwise Community Grant Program funded $137,500 to TARFish as the peak body grant and $15,000 for the IMAS Swordfish project. As of 30 June 2017, $2,362 remain uncommitted.
- $122,000 remains in the Fishwise fund for fishery adjustments.