NSW is renowned for having some of the best fishing locations of anywhere in the country. The industry is an extremely valuable one to coastal and inland communities. Fishers spent an estimated $2,138 million on recreational ($2,117 million) and charter ($21.5 million) activities in 2019-20.
DPI Fisheries held a Facebook live-stream event in August 2020 to provide practical information to recreational fishers across the state.
The Fishing Stream event was hosted by recreational fishing media professional Steve Starling who conducted interviews with relevant DPI staff and local tackle industry experts.
In 30 minutes, DPI was able to reach more than 73,000 people with 15,000 views, 4,200 engagements, 650 comments and 240 reactions. Follow NSW DPI Fisheries on Facebook to stay up to date on events and information.
DPI have conducted relocations of threatened fish from western NSW to the coast, to help protect our native fish species from challenging environmental conditions.
Drought, high temperatures, bushfires and heavy rainfall placed already threatened fish species across NSW under even greater pressure in 2019-20.
Rescues have taken place in the Gwydir, Border Rivers, Macquarie, Lachlan, Upper Murray catchments in the Murray-Darling Basin and in the Clarence and Richmond River catchments on the coast.
An estimated 275,000 long-term (1 & 3 year) NSW recreational fishing licence holders and their households (RFL households) fished at least once in NSW and ACT waters in the twelve months prior to September 2018. Males accounted for 88% of this group, compared with 12% for females. The highest number of fishers in RFL households who fished in 2017-18 was in the 45-59 years age group 73.
In total, fishers in RFL households participated in over 11,000 fishing events for an estimated total fishing effort of 2.2 million fisher days in 2017-18 73. The vast majority (69%) of recreational fishing activity in NSW and the ACT was concentrated in marine waters with estuaries accounting for 48% of the total effort, followed by inshore waters and offshore waters at 21%. Fishing in freshwater represented around 31% of total fishing effort, with 20% occurring in rivers and 11% in lakes and dams 73.
The most common method used was line fishing, with 82% of fishers in RFL households using lines (bait and/or artificial lures and jigs) during the 12-month period, accounting for 91% of all fisher days. Line fishing with bait accounted for a majority (43%) of all fisher days, with lure and jig fishing at 30% of the total and the use of both line fishing methods (within the one fishing event) at 18%. The number of fisher days spent using other fishing methods included hand-collecting methods (2%), pot/trap fishing (5%), diving methods (1%) and various types of net (mainly scoop nets) (1%) 73.
Total catch for recreational fisheries assessment is divided into the component that is kept or harvested (not returned to the water) and that which is released (returned to the water whether alive or not). The harvested component may be used for a range of purposes, most commonly for consumption or for use as bait. The reasons for releasing or discarding catch may include adherence to regulations (e.g. size and bag limits), ethical reasons (e.g. catch and release fishing) or undesirability (e.g. poor eating quality, damaged or diseased).
Fishers in RFL households captured a diverse range of scalefish, elasmobranchs (sharks and rays), crustaceans, and molluscs, with an estimated 9.3 million organisms caught during 2017-18. Of the total catch, 51% were retained and the remaining 49% were released 73.
During 2018-19, a total of 470,046 licenses (3-day, 1 month, 1 year and 3 year) were sold, down 4.4% year-on-year. Total licence sales, and the proportion of different licence types sold, remain remarkably consistent from year to year 64.