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, it may open to applications from individuals, organisations and community groups to fund projects which improve recreational fisheries management and provide community education on recreational fishing issues.
The Wild Fisheries Management Branch provides a report consolidating 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 2017/18
Summary: Recreational Fishing Licence Trends & Fishwise Fund 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.