Recognising the value of recreational fishing in Australia

PARLIAMENTARY Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture Richard Colbeck will this weekend attend the National Recreational Fishing Conference and Tournament on the Gold Coast where he will speak about the Government’s commitment to the sector.

“The Government is working to further strengthen lines of communication with our recreational fishers – who are estimated to contribute a massive $2.56 billion to the nation’s economy,” Senator Colbeck said. “Recreational fishing is an important part of the Australian culture and way of life. “About 20 percent of Australians are involved in recreational fishing and make a valuable contribution to our economy each year. “The Government recognises these values and we are committed to ensuring a sustainable recreational fishing sector.

“That’s why we’ve committed $550,000 to encourage national leadership for the recreational fishing sector. “This funding will enable the Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation (ARFF) to deliver a range of initiatives to promote sustainable fishing practices and build a social licence with the Australian community. “ARFF also intend to use the grant to revise and promote a national Code of Practice for recreational fishing which will set out aspirational goals for behaviour of the sector.”

Senator Colbeck said the Government is also in the process of finalising the terms of reference and membership for the National Recreational Fishing Council. “This Council will help ensure recreational fishers have a strong voice in informing government policies and programmes,” he said. “We’re also developing a rolling five-yearly fishing survey that will give us a better and more accurate picture of the views, challenges and opportunities faced by the sector nationally.

“I want to thank the hard work and commitment of rec fishing stakeholders, the state and territory governments, ARFF and RecFishing Research to develop a framework for national and regular surveys.” Senator Colbeck said events like the National Recreational Fishing Conference and Tournament were also an important forum for recreational fishers. “For stakeholders to come together to discuss the issues that affect them and to develop consensus positions on ideas they can bring to government makes gatherings like this important,” Senator Colbeck said.

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