Statewide Recreational Fishing Surveys
How many Tasmanians go fishing each year, what do they catch and where do they fish? How much do they spend on fishing?
A statewide recreational fishing survey is conducted every five years by the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies.
The surveys are funded by recreational fishing licence fees.
Results of the 2017-18 Recreational Fishing Survey
Over 3000 Tasmanian households were surveyed between December 2017 and November 2018 to see if they fish recreationally. Almost 600 of these households, representing 1500 people then provided details of their fishing activities over a 12 month period.
How much fishing is being done?
one in four Tasmanians or 106,000 people went fishing at least once during the survey period.
- They fish an average of
5 days per year.
- Males aged
between 45-59 represent the highest number of fishers.
- Twice as many males (71,000) as females (35,000) went fishing.
What’s the catch?
Flathead continues to be the most popular recreationally caught fish in Tasmania, accounting for 70% of all finfish caught. Around 1.7 million flathead were caught with 56% released.
- Sand flathead accounts for 96% of the flathead catch, with 3% tiger flathead and <1% bluespot flathead.
Other important species were
Australian salmon (130 000) and trout (206 000).
Top 3 recreational finfish caught in Tasmania during the 2017-2018 survey period, flathead, Australian salmon and trout
|Australian Salmon||129,000||81,000||49,000 (38%)|
|King George Whiting||24,000||
|Sharks and Ray||27,000||9,000||67%|
How much do fishers spend?
- Around $161 million or an average of $1,800 per fisher is spent annually on boats, fishing gear and other items.
- This amount includes $16 million on boating and fishing gear, tackle and bait.
Salt vs fresh water, boat or shore fishers?
Fishing by region
- Over half the state's total fishing effort (51%) occurred off the east and south-east coasts.
How is the survey information used?
The survey results are used in fisheries stock assessments together with commercial catch data to sustainably manage Tasmania's fisheries.
The survey results are available in several formats:
Copies of the survey results mini-poster What's the Catch?
are available at Fishcare events around the state including AgFest and the Liawenee Trout Weekend.