Fishwise Community Grants - 2005 Funding Round

Survey of the Tasmanian Recreational Fishery

Lead Agency: Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute
Partners: TARFish, RecFAC
Funding: $147,661.00
Start Date: 01 August 2007 End Date: 29 November 2011
  • Determine the rate of recreational fishing participation by Tasmanians and profile the demographic characteristics of recreational fishers.
  • Quantify recreational catch and effort by method, region and key species.
  • Estimate annual expenditure on recreational fishing by recreational fishers.
  • Establish attitudes and awareness of recreational fishers to issues relevant to their fishery.
Final Report
What did the project achieve?

Overall the project has provided the most comprehensive description of the Tasmanian recreational fishers and their fishing activities available. Three major reports (two being part supported by related Fishwise grants) and a brochure "What's the catch" have derived from the project.

The project builds on the 2000/01 national survey to provide the most comprehensive and up to date picture of recreational fishing in Tasmania. Key information includes demographic profiling of recreational fishers, participation rates, levels and types of fishing activity, catch estimates and description of fishing practices (including catch and release). Comparisons were made with similar data for 2000/01 to identify changes through time in each of the key parameters. These findings have represented inputs into fishery assessment reporting, resource sharing discussions and the recent scalefish management plan review.

In addition, a comprehensive assessment of fishers motivations, attitudes and awareness was undertaken, with particular attention given to exploring the underlying diversity of views within the fisher population. Through comparisons with survey results obtained in 2000/01 shifts in attitudes and effectiveness of government communication and education strategies could be assessed.

In relation of economic activity, and based on expert advice, focus was directed at non-market valuation techniques to assess the value that recreational fishers place on fishing (inshore saltwater fishery). This component of the study was enhanced by providing comparisons with the rock lobster fishery (component of the 2008/09 rock lobster survey). Demographic and situational factors were shown to influence willingness to pay but the level of daily catch did not contribute to higher willingness to pay for a day's fishing - potentially reflecting the importance of non-consumptive factors as motivations for fishing. Summary household expenditure information was collected as part of the general fishing survey, implying that around $170 million was expended by Tasmanian households on goods and services related in some way to recreational fishing. It should be noted that this estimate is subject to recall bias and includes expenditure that may also be attributable to other activities or uses - eg newly purchased boat may be used for activities other than fishing.

Furthermore, an FRDC funded study to develop an analytical module for large-scale recreational surveys was linked to the current project. This enabled an efficient and statistically robust approach to the data analysis, including a re-analysis of 2000/01 data for comparison with the current survey. (Lyle, Wotherspoon and Stark 2010. Developing an analytical module for large-scale recreational fishery data based on phone-diary survey methodology, FRDC Project 2007/064).

Click on the images to download the full reports

What's the catch booklet cover

2007-08 Rec Fishing Survey Report - cover

Survey of the Recreational Scallop Fishery

Lead Agency: Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute
Funding: $4,400.00
Start Date: 01 June 2006 End Date: 15 May 2007
The primary objectives are to:
  • Quantify recreational scallop fishing effort by region.
  • Quantify fishing success rate (ie how often the bag limit was obtained).
  • Gauge opinions about the current and future management of the scallop season.
Final Report

The 2006 recreational scallop season took place between March and June following a successful fishery in 2005.

Management arrangements were basically unchanged in 2006; all Tasmanian waters (apart from marine reserves) open, dive collection the only permitted harvest method, and a daily bag limit of 40 and possession limit of 200 scallops.

The number of scallop dive licences issued rose sharply, from just over 3000 in 2005 to almost 5000 in 2006.

The status of scallop populations in the D'Entrecasteaux Channel was assessed by dive surveys prior to the opening of the fishery and immediately following the closure of the season. In addition, a post-season telephone survey of recreational licence-holders was conducted to collect information on fisher success, effort by region and to gauge opinions about the management of the fishery.

Pre-season surveys showed that commercial scallops were the dominant species present, being widespread throughout the central and, to a lesser extent, the southern regions of the Channel. Few commercial scallops were present in the northern Channel, an area that had been the focus of heavy dive activity during 2005.

The post-season dive surveys provided evidence of an impact of the fishery on scallop stocks, with overall numbers down by almost 20% and commercial scallop numbers falling by 25%. This finding implies that most of the recreational effort was directed at commercial rather than queen or doughboy scallops, an observation supported by anecdotal reports. Strong declines in abundance were recorded in Great Bay, near Green Island, Isthmus Bay, east of Gordon, and off Satellite Island. Despite these declines, there were significant numbers still present in the Channel at the end of the season, particularly in central region. The population of commercial scallops in the Channel was primarily comprised of large adults (> 100 mm shell length), with comparatively few juvenile or under-size scallops present.

The telephone survey involved over 350 recreational scallop licence-holders. Almost 35% of scallop licence holders did not fish during 2006, this compared with 17% in 2005, though increased licence sales in 2006 meant that, in absolute terms, there were more active fishers in 2006. Licence-holders dived an estimated 18,800 fisher days for scallops during the 2006 scallop season, representing an average of almost 6 days per fisher. By comparison with 2005, dive effort was higher but the difference was not statistically significant.

As in 2005, the vast majority (88%) of the dive effort was concentrated in the D'Entrecasteaux Channel, with Great Oyster Bay of minor importance (5%). Effort was focussed in the central Channel, in particular Simpsons Bay, Great Bay, off Gordon and around Satellite Island. Using the bag limit as a measure of fishing success, almost 87% of all fishing effort resulted in the daily limit being achieved. Hookah was the primary dive method used, followed by SCUBA and to a lesser extent snorkel.

The majority of respondents (83%) indicated that they were satisfied with the cautious approach taken by management for the 2006 season, i.e. conservative bag limit, large minimum size limit and a relatively long fishing season. Equal proportions of respondents considered that the daily bag limit of 40 was either 'about right' or too low. Suggested alternative limits ranged from 50 - 200 per day, with the modal suggestion being 60.

The vast majority of respondents considered that they were at least adequately informed about the scallop regulations. About three-quarters identified the sea fishing guide produced by DPIW as an important information source about fishing regulations, with other fishers also important.

Almost 40% of respondents considered that compliance was a significant problem and of these, most considered that the problem could be remedied with more police checks. Some believed that the bag limit was overly conservative and contributed to the problem.

While most respondents did other types of recreational fishing in addition to diving for scallops, over half indicated that they did not include other types of fishing activities on a scallop harvesting trip.

Trip related expenditure based on car and boat fuel, tank fills and hire, and compressor fuel costs by persons targeting scallops totalled an estimated $0.86M, with car fuel accounting for almost half of the total cost.

Overall the 2006 recreational scallop season enjoyed a high level of fisher success and satisfaction as well as support for the management strategy. Of concern for the future, however, is the combination of a lack evidence to support the existence of substantial beds of scallops in inshore waters other than the D'Entrecasteaux Channel and the limited recent settlement of commercial scallops in that area. Based on the distribution of fishing effort and fishing success over the past two seasons it is likely that subsequent fisheries will be increasingly reliant on queen or doughboy scallops. In the absence of significant settlement in the next few years there is a risk that stocks may decline to very low levels through the combined effects of fishing and ageing. Together they will have major implications for the quality of the fishery.

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Survey of 2006 Rec Scallop Report - cover

Printing Fishing Information

Lead Agency: Department of Primary Industries and Water
Partners: Fishcare Volunteers, Mike Stevens
Funding: $16,900.00
Start Date: 01 March 2006 End Date: 25 June 2010

  • Improve user knowledge of, and compliance to, fish species and fisheries rules by providing resource users with a source of current and accurate information.
  • Provide educators with an attractive, informative resource for their laboratory/ science room to promote greater knowledge of Tasmanian fish species and the fisheries rules.
  • Use the stickers as an aid in raising awareness of fishing responsibly and of the broader marine environment and associated conservation issues.
Final Report
What did the project achieve?

Fishing information map sheets
Fishing information map sheets were drafted, updated and produced in conjuction with the copyright owner of "Fishing around Tasmania" (Stevens Publishing).

A total of 80,000 Fishing information map sheets were produce. Stevens Publishing included some advertising on the sheets to increase the production run from 60,000 to 80,000.

The fishing information sheets were produced in tear off pad styles, with each pad comprising of 100 sheets of a single "fishing area". The pad style, keeps the sheets relating to one fishing areas together, so that it is convenient for Fishcare Volunteers to just tear off the sheets when conducting activities.

The number of fishing information map sheets produced for each "area" were as follows:
    • Fishing the Derwent River (20,000)
    • Fishing the D'Entrecasteaux Channel and Bruny Island (20,000)
    • Fishing the Tasman Peninsula (10 000)
    • Fishing around the St Helens (10 000)
    • Fishing the Tamar River (10 000)
    • Fishing Smithton and Stanley, (10 000).
The fishing information map sheets are being distributed by the Volunteers at events around Tasmania. A limited number have been distributed to tackle shops. The primary aim of these sheets, however are for the use of Fishcare Volunteers to save time explaining fishing spots and broad fishing education messages such as "fish responsibly" and get a copy of the fishing guide and fish measuring devices.

Copies of the fishing information map sheets are also available for download from the Department's website.

An updated version of "Fishing the D'Entrecasteaux Channel and Bruny Island" depicting the changes of the Tinderbox Marine Reserve and Nine Pine Point Marine Reserve is available from the Department's web site.

Only general information on fisheries rules have been included in the information sheets, as the Department is aiming to limit the risks of having outdated information, as new fisheries rules change. The focus is to get recreational fishers to get a copy of the recreational fisheries guide and a new fish measuring ruler each season.

"Get Hooked...It's fun to fish Education Activities" - Fish Passports and Stickers
The project assisted in funding the purchase of materials, associated with the Fishcare Volunteer in schools concept "Get Hooked...It's fun to fish". These activities encourage children to take an active role in the management fisheries, understanding responsible fishing and the broader marine environment. Students undertake 6 codes:
  • take only what you need,
  • fish with friends,
  • you're the solution to water pollution,
  • throw the little ones back,
  • don't leave your tackle behind and
  • quality catchments equal quality fish.
  • At the end of each session a component of the passport is signed off. The Stickers are given as a reward.
"Get Hooked Passports". The concept design is owned by Fishcare Victoria, and products were redesigned where necessary with that organisation. The printing and redesign (stickers only) were part of this project.

Production of Stickers Printed relating to Project Objective 3 - Aids in raising the awareness of Fishing Responsibility.

These 50 mm round stickers depicting the "Fletcher the Fish Mascot" and responsible fishing methods were designed by DPIPWE's graphic design unit. The project funded the printing of a total of 28,000 - 7000 of each design to be distributed during Fishcare Activities, particularly in the schools program, and Take a Kid Fishing and around the fish pool activities. The design and original print run of 20,000 stickers were funded from other budget sources in Recreational Fisheries primarily to distribute to school groups at AgFest in 2009.

Fish identification and measuring poster
In accordance with the project aim to improve user knowledge and compliance a print run of the fish identification and measuring poster " If you have something smaller than this you are probably breaking the law!". These laminated and relative robust posters are very large (~1.8 x 0.8 m) and depict the actual legal sizes of key recreational fish. Only the printing costs were funded under this project for printing a total of 10 posters (~$100 each). (The posters were designed and funded for outside this project). The posters will be displayed at key locations including Service Tasmania (Hobart and St Helens). Other locations currently being considered are the Airports and the Spirit of Tasmania Terminal.

  • Increased the availability of recreational fishery information through fishing stores and Fishcare volunteers.
  • Assisted fishers in correct identification of popular recreational target species and where to find information regarding the fisheries rules and responsible fishing.
  • Assisted distributing teaching aids and information on responsible fishing to schools.
  • Flow on effects to the community would be through providing the communication products to educational institutions, generally improving awareness of fish species.
The need for general factual information of fisheries, rather than on single species has been identified as a communication need. The "Fisheries Facts" on particular fisheries such as rock lobster, abalone, flathead, scallop fishery, game fish, may incorporate an overview of fish identities, the life cycles, distribution, research and surveys, catch info- where to find the fisheries info, fishery risks, etc. These have been placed on the work plan for the Recreational Fisheries Fishwise Communication Program.

'Sea Fishes of Tasmania' Posters

Lead Agency: Department of Primary Industries and Water
Partners: Australian Maritime College, Fishcare Volunteers
Funding: $4,920.00
Start Date: 01 February 2006 End Date: 11 December 2008

  • Improve user knowledge of, and compliance to, fish species and fisheries rules by providing resource users with a source of current and accurate information, including a photograph of the species and legal minimum length and bag limits.
  • Provide educators with an attractive, informative resource for their laboratory/ science room to promote greater knowledge of Tasmanian fish species and the fisheries rules.
  • To use the poster as an aid in raising awareness of the broader marine environment and associated conservation issues.
Final Report
The Australian Maritime College and Wild Fisheries Management Branch of the Department of Primary Industries and Water were joint project partners in a Fishwise Community Grants project to produce a A1 (841x594mm) photographic Seafishes of Tasmania poster.

Since the grant funding was approved in 2005, the project experienced several challenges that have caused considerable delays, including a change in the staff member in the Fisheries Communications Officer role. In late 2007, the Department was advised that AMC's graphic designer could not finalise the poster design, as stated in the grant agreement, due to illness.

As a result the poster was provided to DPIW's graphic design unit who provided some design services (cost $540) however they advised that it would not be possible for them to do extensive image editing to remove shadows and flash flare and correct colour levels in the photos provided by AMC without considerable cost.

Quotes on the cost of printing the poster also showed that the amount of grant funding allocated in the budget ($3,200) was not sufficient to print the 4,000 copies of the poster stated in the grant agreement. Therefore the decision was taken to print a smaller run of 2,000 copies at a cost of $2,653.20, thus no longer allowing sufficient copies for the sale of the poster through Service Tasmania. As stated in the grant agreement, AMC received 1,000 copies of the poster and $1,000 for consumables for the poster production process.

The printed copies of the poster arrived in January 2008 and have been handed over to the Fishcare Volunteer Coordinators to distribute to Tasmanian schools as stated in the grant agreement.

Recreational Scallop Surveys

Lead Agency: Tasmanian SCUBA Diving Club (TSDC)
Funding: $2,500.00
Start Date: 01 January 2006 End Date: 3 August 2007
To expand the current knowledge of in shore scallop distribution and abundance in the south east of Tasmania. Utilising the experience of members of the TSDC and their knowledge of scallop beds from recent and previous scallop seasons, valuable data will also be gathered on scallop bed recovery after the 2005 season. The data collected will provide valuable information for TAFI and DPIW on areas heavily and lightly fished, plus provide a better understanding of the distribution and size frequency of scallop beds in south east Tasmania. This project will provide data that will assist with the planning of future sustainable recreational scallop seasons by DPIW. This will also provide valuable base line data to gauge the impact of future recreational scallop season.

Final Report
Very few scallops were found at sites sampled outside of the D'Entrecasteaux Channel. Though not extensively surveyed Great Oyster Bay showed some signs of past recruitment, after a large mortality event in 2005. The only area were significant quantities of scallops was found outside the D'Entrecasteaux Channel was North Marion Bay.

Commercial scallops were the most common species of scallop sampled during surveys of the channel. Queen Scallops were largely restricted to the lower half of area three and around Satellite Island (area four). With Queen Scallops being most abundant off Gordon. Queen scallops were generally large with very few scallops sampled below the legal minimum size of 100mm.

Area one in the D'Entrecasteaux Channel has shown no sign of recovery since heavy fishing pressure in the 2005 season.

A recent recruitment event was identified in the Channel but was largely restricted to the northern half of area three where large quantities of scallops were found between 20-30mm shell length. Survey participants reported that one in ten newly recruited scallops were sampled, so figures presented here would represent an underestimation in the extent of the recruitment event.

Scallops sampled in areas two and three were represented by commercial scallops greater than 100mm, the legal minimum length. Very few sub-legal scallops were found throughout these areas. Scallops encountered off Satellite Island were the largest sampled throughout the Channel.

Recreational Scallop Surveys (123 KB)

Signs, Lines and Scrutinize

Lead Agency: Fishcare Volunteers
Partners: Inland Fisheries Service, Department of Primary Industries and Water, Local Councils
Funding: $35,690.00
Start Date: 01 November 2005 End Date: 25 June 2010

  • To increase compliance with fisheries rules and raise awareness of fishing ethics.
Final Report
What did the project achieve?

The project recognised that marine recreational fishers (particularly those fishing in northern estuaries) were at risk of prosecution if they unwittingly fished over the sometimes obscure boundary between marine an inland waters.

Also, there was a need for fish measuring devices to identify marginally undersized fish on site, so that they could be returned to the water alive.

The project recognised the pollution caused by discarded fishing lines and had requested funds to install "waste line" containers in key fishing locations.

It also recognised that outdated signage caused confusion as to what was and was not legal.

The project sought to achieve a number of objectives;
  • To place signs in rivers delineating the boundary between marine waters (under the jurisdiction of Marine Resources) and inland waters (under the jurisdiction of Inland Fisheries) and to produce and install metal rulers at some major fishing sites around Tasmania.
  • To place containers at popular fishing sites for waste fishing line disposal.
  • To scrutinise existing signage to determine its accuracy and relevance in the light of current regulations.
Design work for signs was carried to the satisfaction of both Marine Resources and Inland Fisheries Services (IFS). Fifty signs were manufactured and delivered to IFS, who undertook to install them with the assistance of Fishcare volunteers (FCVs). Unfortunately, the IFS officer responsible for the project retired, and was not replaced for some time. His replacement has since begun the job of installing the signs in conjunction with FCVs.

200 metal rulers were produced and installed by volunteers at numerous sites around Tasmania. These rulers depicted size limits and possession limits of scalefish.

Approval was gained to use savings from salaries and promotion products to manufacture 500 new metal rulers when changes to Scalefish Regulations in 2009 made the information on the original rulers redundant. The new ruler design does not depict the size and possession limits, which will avoid having to change these relatively expensive devices with each rule change. The rulers, however encourage fishers to measure their catch and find out about the size limits and possession limits using the website, recreational fisheries enquiry line or the sea fishing guide. New rulers are presently being installed by FCVs.

Old, out-of-date signage has been removed.

Leven River
Leven River

Sign Proof

Squeaking Point, Port Sorell
Squeaking Point


Recreational fishers will now have secure knowledge of where they can fish without having an Inland Fisheries Licence.
They will also have the convenience of being able to measure the length of their catch at piers and jetties around the state.

They will no longer be misled by out-of-date signs.

Follow-up/ Maintenance

Volunteers will monitor the signs and rulers for signs of vandalism or damage, and decide whether or not replacement is advisable.

Fishcare Volunteers Major Events Program

Lead Agency: Fishcare Volunteers
Partners: WIN Television, Examiner, Mercury, Tasmanian Fishing and Boating News, fishing tackle industry, national and local
Funding: $29,971.00
Start Date: 29 October 2005 End Date: 20 May 2008

  • Increase and reinforce community and volunteer awareness of rules, regulations and other issues relating to marine and freshwater resources.
  • Strengthen and reinforce the Program statewide.
  • Increase the professional and personal development training of volunteers.
  • Increase community and volunteer awareness of the need to promote community responsibility for cleaner waterways from the rivers to the ocean.
  • Develop stronger community working linkages with other organisations including Coastcare, local councils, Marine Police, Parks and service clubs.
Final Report
This project has achieved and exceeded all the given objectives to a high degree. Previous reports that provide more detail of the achievements have been provided throughout the life of the project and should be read in conjunction with this final report.

Extra funding was sourced to conduct an additional Take a Kid Fishing Day (Hobart Regatta) which was very successful. Analysis of the attendance (by postcode) indicated the attendees were of a different sector of the community than those attending TAKF days at the CSIRO wharf.

Three Regional reviews were conducted instead of one central process. This ensured higher attendance which facilitated a much broader scope for discussion and wider coverage of topics, experiences and input. As part of this review Fishcare developed the Fishing Clinic program, provided a stronger schools education program, revised the OH&S plan and trialled an Adult Education Course.

As part of this project a TV advert for the Take a Kid Fishing Days was produced and aired around the State. Win TV provided segments within the community announcements as well as sponsored and paid segments. The production was designed to allow adaptions for minimal cost which will prolong the life of the production.


The Take a Kid Fishing Days are extremely well supported. Excluding poor weather conditions on the day there are between 100 - 250 people attending the five events around the State.

At each event the Fishcare Volunteers (generally about 10-15 for each event) are briefed about the rules and OH&S procedure. They in turn work with each group of fishers to explain the rules and demonstrate practical fish handling techniques. As part of the fun on the day the kids are quizzed and rewarded. The volunteers also find this educational process very rewarding. Communication skills and confidences are notably developed over the course of the event.

Public perception of these events is very positive. The events are high profile and as such receive significant sponsorship and support from local business, other community groups and Marine Police as well as comments from the families received on the day of the events or by thank you letters.

Educational days provide a platform to draw communities together to learn and have fun. Organised events such as TAKF days are professionally co-ordinated with strict OH&S protocols. Sustainable fishing rules and ethical fishing methods are explained and practically demonstrated. Messages such as "take only what you need", "put the little ones back", "quality waterways - quality fish", "you're the solution to water pollution", etc are introduced as part of the events on the day and later reinforced through the Fishcare Schools Program for the kids.

The Fishcare Volunteers strive to make each child's experience a positive one and at the same time reinforce the message about the need for sustainable fishing into the future.

Education and Display Trailer

Lead Agency: Fishcare Volunteers
Partners: Inland Fisheries Service, Marine Police, Greening Australia, Burnie Cradle-Coast Authority, NRM
Funding: $18,940.00
Start Date: 01 October 2005 End Date: 20 May 2008

With a user-friendly van, we should see a higher profile of the Fishcare Volunteers and related fisheries groups at events the Fishcare Volunteers and Department identify as worthy of attendance. The practicality of a small compact van should ensure an easy and reliable service delivery of the Department's key fisheries communication strategy to the wider community. With a number of NW FCV passionate about freshwater issues and projects, it is inevitable that the van will be used for Inland waters events and hence will provide a valuable vehicle for IFS service delivery profiles eg protection of the locally significant giant freshwater crayfish. It is also envisaged it will take a prominent place at FCV schools education presentations.

Final Report
The design and construction of the trailer took longer than expected.

Various designs were submitted through the tender system and advice was sought from interstate as well. As a consequence of the extra time spent on the planning stage the end result has ensured a versatile and lightweight vehicle that tows well and is visually captivating.

The trailer came into use for the later part of the 2006-07 fishing season.

Since then it has been used extensively over a full fishing season (07-08) in the North-West region.

This monitoring phase was necessary to identify the strength and weaknesses of the unit.

As a result some minor modifications have been required but overall the unit has proven to be a very valuable asset to the region.

Displays can be set up and dismantled quickly and efficiently, storage in the base of the van ensures sufficient stock can be provided at the display site, stock is kept in good condition and it is easily identifiable as a central point for fisheries activities and information.

Fishing Trailer

Extension of the Marine Links Schools Education

Lead Agency: Fishcare Volunteers
Funding: $67,630.00
Start Date: 01 September 2005 End Date: 27 July 2011

  • To update the current Marine Links Package.
  • To expand the Marine Links Package to include years 9 - 12.
  • To include aquaculture, industry and management components.
Final Report
What did the project achieve?
The Marine Links Package is a project conducted by Fishcare/Wild Fisheries Management Branch in collaboration with the Department of Education with the aim of producing marine resource education kits and aligning sustainable and responsible fisheries education to curriculum needs.

The Marine Links kits contain theoretical content with a Marine Links education folder which covers units:- Marine Habitats, Marine Life, Sustainable Fisheries, Marine Reserves, and Human Influences. In addition practical hands-on teaching resources are supplied. Eleven kits have been produced.

The Marine Links kits contain a range of teaching resources, with the relevant items available for particular educational activities. That is, items can be borrowed separately by teachers or used as a whole kit.

The resources are outlined in the attached contents list and brochure.

Initially the eleven kits will be based as follows: 2 for the Marine Discovery Centre at Woodbridge and 3 for each Fishcare region (North, North West, South). One of the regional Fishcare kits may be based in the Fishcare trailers to maximise the use of the contents in school and event activities. The usage of the kits will be periodically reviewed and kits may be redeployed at other locations.

Education kits


The education resources target a younger age group consisting of current and potential recreational fishers across all regions of Tasmania. It also assists in building an understanding of the role of fisheries and the marine environment, which builds the community's capacity to participate in future management processes.

The resources contained in the Marine Links Kits will be particularly useful in providing fisheries education and awareness activities in schools. The kits are cost efficient in terms of the large amount of quality contacts that can be achieved for the funding. The outputs of this project will assist in continuing build collaboration between Fishcare and schools.

Fishcare volunteers and Regional Coordinators have used parts of the kit in schools, which has in turn assisted to increase Fishcare activities in schools. The practical items make it easier for the presenter in the classroom and feedback has been positive.

The kits and resources may be used by the Department and Fishcare during other Fisheries education and awareness activities and therefore represent an effective use of Fishwise funds - as Fishwise is the primary funder of Fishcare.

Follow-up/ Maintenance

The education folder contents will be loaded onto the Department's sea fishing web site. .

The education folder is intended to be a living document. Information from the feedback forms will assist in considering modifications.

Continue training of Fishcare volunteers, particularly in light of the recent modifications of the kit. FCVs need to be aware that of their role and the teachers roles.

Investigate ways to encourage feedback and usage details through modifying the evaluation forms, including web email evaluation.

Produce gear description cards for the model fishing gear that explains how the gear works in catching target species; and how certain design and usage aspects influence size composition of target species, reduce bycatch of unwanted fish species and reduce wildlife interactions.

The number and range of model fish could be increased.

Increase collaboration with commercial fisheries and marine farming, particularly the Seafood Industry Partnerships in Schools - Adopt a Fishing Boat and Adopt a Marine Farm. Wild Fisheries Management have had discussions with Oceanwatch who have indicated that they will inform presenters and audiences about the Marine Links Kit (and the Community Awareness aspects of Fishcare) when the opportunities arise. Similarly, WFM have reciprocated by briefly mentioning information about the SIPS program in the Marine Links Education Resource Kit.

Fishcare Volunteers Schools Program

Lead Agency: Fishcare Volunteers
Partners: Woodbridge High School Marine Discovery Centre, Department of Education
Funding: $72,560.00
Start Date: 01 September 2005 End Date: 1 July 2011

  • Provide Tasmanian school children with an understanding of the need to conserve a recreational fishery of the future.
  • To ensure the Fishcare Volunteer Program can continue the 'Fish for the Future' Schools Education Program around the State.
  • To ensure a consistent and current 'sustainable fisheries' message is presented to schools around the State.
  • To provide specialised training for selected Fishcare Volunteers to deliver a basic marine educator's package in Tasmanian schools.
Final Report
What did the project achieve?
  • 53 people attended training, of whom 40 are still active, 9 trained Fishcare Volunteers have since resigned from being a Fishcare Volunteer and 4 did not pass the course.
  • 9 have also passed the level 2 schools training specialising in delivering the Marine Links package.
  • In 2008 / 2009 the northern volunteers alone presented to 1477 students , using 420 hours of volunteers' time.
  • An estimated 5,000 children on a statewide basis have been presented with the program over the life of the program.
  • Feedback from teachers is positive.

The project has increased the awareness and knowledge of sustainable recreational fisheries in Tasmania by directly delivering the "Fish for the Future" message to schoolchildren. Since children then pass on these messages to parents, siblings and others, the multiplier effect is considerable.

Follow-up/ Maintenance
  • Although there were considerable residual project funds (~ $23,000) this project had to be completed and the funds returned to Fishwise in that Fishwise Community Grant projects are not continuous.
  • Ideally the training program should continue under the core activities of the Community Partnership Program (which includes Fishcare). There will, however, be budgetary constraints that preclude this.
  • When the new budget allocations were formulated to ensure that Fishcare was not reliant on Fishwise Community Grants, an allocation specifically for the in schools training was not included in the Community Partnerships budget. Consideration should be given to increase that programs budget to include Fishcare Volunteers schools training.
  • Ideally a minimum of 2 volunteers from each of 3 regions each year. An estimated $10,000 would be needed to pay;
    • Teaching costs by qualified teachers at Marine Discovery Centre
    • Travel costs for Fishcare Volunteers travelling to Woodbridge
    • Accommodation over 2 day course
    • Supply of materials.
  • The work of trainees presenting to schools continues, with excellent results being reported by teachers and volunteers.
  • The work of trainees presenting to schools continues, with excellent results being reported by teachers and volunteers.

Statewide Fishery Newsletter

Lead Agency: Australian Fishing Tackle Association (Tas)
Partners: Mike Stevens, fishing tackle industry and shops
Funding: $11,278.45
Start Date: 01 September 2005 End Date: 5 February 2007

  • Aim is to tell people about the recreational fishery, explain some basic rules and tell people where to get more information and advice. The aim is also to encourage participation, whilst caring for the fishery.
Final Report
The Newsletter was distributed to virtually every Tasmanian household just after Christmas 2006. Distributed by Salmat Tasmania, it goes to about 140 000 houses on their rounds. Some very small towns do miss out, but in generally more than 95% of the State is covered.

Excellent and positive feedback was received from the tackle industry with many wanting extra copies just for shop distribution.

The promotion received good coverage on ABC local radio several times and ABC Radio nationally on the special summer 'Big Fish' series.

AFTA Tasmania was very excited to put this promotion together and was rewarded with huge support from the whole industry.

This was a positive promotion with long lasting effects that is educational, supportive and helpful.

Stock Structure and Dispersal of Octopus Maorum, with emphasis on the Eaglehawk Bay aggregation

Lead Agency: Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute
Funding: $7,500.00
Start Date: 01 March 2005 End Date: 19 September 2008

Aims to examine the stock structure and dispersal of O. maorum, with a particular focus on the Eaglehawk Bay aggregation. The following questions will be answered:
  • where do the animals come from which make up the aggregation? Is it made up of one or numerous populations?
  • what is the degree of connectivity or genetic exchange between the Eaglehawk Bay population and other populations?
  • what are the implications for management (ie should the aggregation be managed as an independent unit)?
Final Report
The maori octopus, Octopus maorum, constitutes a unique, but largely unstudied, recreational fishery in Tasmania, with both targeted and by-catch (lobster-pots) components. A particular mystery is the occurrence of an exceptionally large year-round aggregation in Eaglehawk Bay, which is intensively fished by recreational fishers, but catch levels are largely unknown.

The reason for the aggregation in this narrow bay and the source of the animals remains unknown. This project aimed to investigate the population structure and dispersal capabilities of O. maorum, which is very poorly understood. This was achieved using microsatellite DNA markers and 'targeted' trace element analysis of the octopus stylet (an internal shell) using laser ablation.

The multi-disciplinary approach of this project has provided a robust and detailed biologically-based assessment of population structure that will facilitate the development of an optimal management plan for this species. Furthermore, through the establishment of novel and effective methods for studying octopus populations, this project will have major applications for other commercially fished octopus species worldwide.

Quantitative elemental imaging of octopus stylets using PIXE and nuclear microprobe (1.06 MB)

Using stylet elemental signatures to determine the population structure of Octopus maorum (420 KB)

Movement of Black Bream in relation to water quality, habitat and life history

Lead Agency: Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute
Funding: $17,615.00
Start Date: 01 January 2005 End Date: 04 August 2008

  • To determine relations between black bream movements and water quality, including factors such as salinity, temperature and dissolved oxygen.
  • To determine habitat usage of black bream based on residence times in different habitat types.
  • To determine movement patterns in relation to life history stages.
Final Report
The general biology of black bream, Acanthopagrus butcheri is quite well known; movement patterns on the other hand are poorly understood. In this study, movement patterns of black bream in the Little Swanport Estuary (east coast of Tasmania) were investigated using acoustic telemetry.

Thirty-five adult fish were surgically implanted with acoustic tags and their movements tracked using VR2 acoustic receivers (VEMCO) over a period of six months.

The acoustic receiver placement had been specifically designed to track small scale movements of the species.

Over 150,000 detections were obtained from 34 individuals over periods of up to 187 days, demonstrating upstream migration during the spawning season. They also showed extensive movement within the estuary linked to tidal cycles, occurring small-scale upstream movements during the flood and downstream movements during the ebb.

Generally, fish spent more time in the upper than in the downstream regions except in January when the fish moved more widely throughout the estuary.

Freshwater inflows significantly influenced the distribution and movement patterns within the estuary. There was, however, no evidence to indicate that tagged fish left the estuary, even during heavy flood events.

Black Bream Report 2008 - cover
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Assessment of 2004/05 Tasmanian Recreational Rock Lobster and Abalone Fisheries

Lead Agency: Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute
Funding: $29,435.00
Start Date: 01 September 2004 End Date: 4 July 2006

  • Estimate the 2004/5 recreational rock lobster and abalone harvest.
  • Provide reliable estimates of catch and effort by fishing method (in the case of rock lobster) and by region.
  • Assess the recreational share of the rock lobster and abalone harvest.
  • Obtain size information by fishing method for the rock lobster harvest.
Final Report
Southern rock lobster and abalone (blacklip and greenlip) are highly prized by recreational fishers in Tasmania.

The numbers of rock lobster and abalone licences issued have increased steadily since the introduction of the present recreational licensing system in 1995, with 16,700 persons holding at least one rock lobster licence and 10,100 persons licensed for abalone during 2004/05. This represents increases of over 95% for lobster and 140% for abalone since 1995. Rock lobster are taken by a variety of methods, including pots, ring or hoop nets, and dive collection. Abalone are primarily harvested by divers.

The current study represents the fifth survey of the lobster fishery and the fourth for the abalone fishery undertaken since 1996 using the telephone/diary survey methodology.

A random sample of licence holders was contacted by telephone in October 2004 and invited to participate in the survey in which fishing activity was monitored throughout the 2004/05 season. A total of 447 licensed respondents completed the survey, representing about one in 40 licence holders and a response rate of over 90%.

Between November 2004 and August 2005, recreational fishers harvested an estimated 128,000 lobsters, based on 109,800 fisher days of effort. Potting was the dominant method and represented over 80% of the effort (days fished) but only 63% of the estimated harvest.

Dive collection accounted for about 16% of trips and 32% of the harvest, while ring usage contributed 2% of trips and 5% of the harvest. The overall average harvest rate for the season was 1.2 lobster per day, with harvest rates averaging 0.9 lobster per day for pots, 2.3 for dive collection, and 2.5 for rings.

The daily bag limit of five lobster was rarely attained for pots (< 3% of pot days) whereas the bag limit was attained in about one in four trips based on dive and ring methods.

Seasonally the lobster fishery exhibited three distinct phases; intense activity early in the season (November to January) that accounted for about 65% of the total harvest; a period of intermediate fishing activity (February to April) that contributed a further 30%; and finally, a phase of low activity (May to August) that accounted around 5% of the season's total.

Conversion of numbers to weights produced a total recreational harvest estimate of 119 tonnes for 2004/05, with catches from the south-east and east coasts accounting for 63%, the north coast 20% and west coast 17% of the total harvest weight. The size of the recreational lobster catch relative to the total allowable commercial catch (TACC) has been identified as a management performance indicator. In the current season the recreational harvest represented 7.8% of the 2004 TACC of 1523 tonnes and was thus below the 10% TACC trigger level.

An estimated 112,500 abalone were harvested by recreational fishers between November 2004 and October 2005, based on 18,100 diver days of effort. About 64% of the total abalone harvest was taken between November and January, 30% between February and April, and 6% between May and October. In total, 40% of the catch was taken from the south-east coast, with catches from the east coast and north-west also significant.

Almost one-fifth of all dives that were targeted at abalone resulted in no retained catch. By contrast, the daily bag limit of 10 abalone was achieved in almost half of all dives and the overall average daily harvest rate was 6.2 abalone.

By converting numbers to weights the 2004/05 harvest was determined to have been 56 tonnes, equivalent to 2.5% of the 2004 commercial catch of 2270 tonnes. There are currently no explicit performance indicators relating to the recreational fishery for abalone.
Rock Lobster and Abalone Fisheries Report 2004/05 - cover
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