Thousands more people on the Sunshine Coast have thrown a line in the water, bringing a significant boost to businesses that support the recreational fishing sector.
A Department of Agriculture and Fisheries survey across Queensland found a massive surge in the number of people fishing, up from 641,000 in 2013 to an estimated 943,000.
In the Sunshine Coast region there has been an increase of 15,800, with 75,200 people going fishing in the 12 months to 2019.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said more people were supporting fishing in the region, and that meant more money going through local businesses and more local jobs.
“Fishing is a great hobby and significant way of life for many people, and is an important support for local employment,” Mr Furner said.
“As well as buying fishing gear and bait, there is boating equipment, camping and accommodation and increased tourism numbers that all boost the local economy.”
Mr Furner said a large majority of fishers complied with bag limits and other fishing regulations.
“Fishing is more popular than ever so it is even more important that people do the right thing and make sure our fisheries are sustainable,” he said.
“I know most people from the region are mindful of that, because they want their own kids to be able to enjoy the same experience they have.”
Mr Furner said based on the results almost 19 per cent of Queenslanders went fishing over the last year, up from 15 per cent in 2013.
“We are determined to build a legacy of a sustainable fishery for our children and our grandchildren,” Mr Furner said.
“With close to 1 million Queenslanders enjoying fishing and an increasing number of tourists contributing to growth in related industries, we owe it to future generations to look after this resource now and in to the future.”
“And it seems people are getting hooked on fishing at a younger age too, with the survey showing more than 23 per cent of respondents were under the age of 14, compared to 20 per cent six years ago.”
The second stage of the state-wide recreational fishing survey is now underway with more than 2,500 households invited to complete the 12 month logbook diary to contribute their important recreational catch and effort information.
The Palaszczuk Government is committed to supporting recreational fishing in Queensland and providing a world class recreational fishing experience.
This commitment has included $10 million for the establishment of three net free zones in 2015.
The government also provided $100,000 in matched funding to each of Cairns, Mackay and Rockhampton to promote the net free zones.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries
The Honourable Mark Furner