The results are in and Queenslanders love fishing more than ever, with almost 1 million casting a line over the last year.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said new survey results showed almost one in five Queenslanders went fishing at least once in the past year.
“More than 8,500 people have taken part in Queensland’s biggest survey of recreational fishing in six years,” Mr Furner said.
“Based on the responses, an estimated 943,000 Queenslanders, or nearly 19 per cent of the population, cast a line at least once over the last year.
“Six years ago only 15 per cent of people surveyed said they’d gone fishing, but these latest results show that the popularity of fishing in Queensland is growing.”
Mr Furner said the growth in numbers underlined the importance of the Palaszczuk Government’s Sustainable Fisheries reforms.
“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.”
Mr Furner said participation rates in most of regional Queensland were also increasing.
“The largest increase was on the Gold Coast, where more than 13 per cent of people said they’d been fishing at least once compared to just under nine per cent in the last survey six years ago,” Mr Furner said.
“But it’s in north Queensland where the passion for fishing truly lies, with 38 per cent of people in the Mackay Hinterland, 36 per cent in the Far North and 34 per cent in the Northern hinterland areas casting a line in the last year.
“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.
Mr Furner said the latest findings were timely with the release last month of its $100,000 recreational fishing grants program.
“The grants program aims to support activities and projects which enhance recreational fishing across the state,” he said.
Applications closed earlier in July and are currently being evaluated.