Photo: QLD Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

Rec fishers’ satisfaction & expectations of QLD’s net-free zones

ON November 1, 2015, three net-free zones were established in Cairns, Mackay and Rockhampton.

The objective of the NFZs is to increase recreational fishing opportunities in Queensland, thereby supporting tourism and economic growth. Surveys undertaken in 2015 and 2016 examined whether recreational fishers’ satisfaction and expectations of fishing in NFZs changed following the introduction of the NFZs. Recreational fishers who had fished within the NFZs were asked a series of questions about their satisfaction with their recent fishing experiences, and their expectations about recreational fishing in the NFZs over the coming 12 months. The surveys were undertaken during November and December in 2015, and November and December 2016.

Recreational fishers’ satisfaction with fishing in the NFZs is generally positive and appears to be increasing. Overall, fishing satisfaction over the previous 12 months was greater in 2016 than in 2015. In Cairns and Rockhampton, satisfaction was similar between years, but in Mackay satisfaction was significantly greater in 2016.
In 2016, recreational fishers in the NFZs were more satisfied with the following activities compared to 2015:
• Experiencing exciting fights with fish;
• The number of big fish caught;
• The number of fish caught;
• The size of the fish caught; and
• Overall fishing in the area.
Keen recreational fishers had the biggest increase in satisfaction—mean satisfaction increased more than 25 percent from 2015 to 2016. Expectations varied depending on the NFZ and frequency of fishing. Interestingly, while catching a fish is important to recreational fishers, many people stated that it is not necessary for a satisfying fishing trip. Further satisfaction surveys will be undertaken in 2017, with the aim of developing a time series into the future.

You can read the full report by clicking this link.

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2 comments

  1. As A recreational fisherman who has lived in the Sandy Straights for over 20 years, i have heard all the hype from The Fishing Alliance in this area about a NFZ through out the Straights. Just a quick question and you may be able to answer it or not, What happens to the families who have work these water for generations, (knowledge handed down from father to son) and done so in a sustainable way.
    These NFZ are great for those areas, but since there introduction there has been a massive influx of commercial fisherman smashing the water ways of the Sandy Straights.
    What do these families do????
    Also why do people that hold multiple licences and just lease them out with out actually working one themselves still hold them. Why haven’t they already been put out of commission?

  2. The Clarence needs big help please Steve. Re. Nets. ,traps there is to many licensed fisherman. I have been a recreational fisherman here for 24 years ,there is way to many pros.

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