Revenue from the sale of sea fishing licences supports the
This pays for recreational fisheries management and activities under the following Programs:
Licensing and Administration– licensing database management, sales and distribution of licences, distribution of fisheries education products to licence holders, phone enquiry service.
– core fisheries management and staff.
Communication – fisheries education including social media, fishing awareness major exhibits, the Recreational Sea Fishing Guide (printed) and phone app, fishing measuring rulers, gauges and brochures.
Fishcare – promotes sustainable recreational fishing practices and an understanding of recreational fishing rules.
Resource Sustainability – funds scheduled recreational fishery surveys and other research.
Fishwise Community Grant Fund (FWCG) and Fisheries Adjustment Fund (FAF) – The FWCG fund provided project grants to improve recreational fisheries management and provide community fisheries education, and up until 2017, a grant to the peak fishing body TARFish.
Recreational Fishing Licence Trends & Fishwise Fund Summary 2017/18
- Recreational sea fishing licence holders decreased by ~800 from the previous year to almost 19,000 and close to the 2015/16 record low level of the last decade. Licence numbers still remain relatively low - around 10% less than the average of the previous ten years.
- Rock lobster is the main driver for taking out a licence. There were just over 17,200 fishers who held at least one rock lobster licence. This is a decrease of 5% from the previous year, and 20% lower than in 2007/08 - the peak year for licence numbers.
- Biotoxin closures were more extensive in 2017/18 than the previous year. The most notable biotoxin closures were 13 weeks for Wineglass Bay to Marion Bay (Maria Island Zone) and 9 weeks Chain of Lagoons to Wineglass Bay (Central east); 4 weeks (Marion Bay to Tasman Island).
- The delay in opening some zones, combined with the low stock status and ongoing management interventions continue to impact licence sales.
Fishwise Fund Status:
- A total of $1.197 million was collected from the sale of recreational sea fishing licences in 2017/18 – a decrease of ~$18,000 from the previous year.
- A total of $942,000 made available to the Fishwise Fund after the agreed consolidated revenue contribution of $255,000 was made. If CPI is considered, Fishwise revenue is around 20% less in real terms compared to 5 years ago.
- The Fishwise Community Grant Fund as of 30 June 2018 has $167,052, and has no future funding commitments.
- Fishery adjustment fund remains with $122,000 in funds.
- Guidelines are needed for the Fishery Adjustment fund and the Fishwise Community Grant Fund, as there are no immediate funding commitments in these funds.