Records of Catch and Effort

Information, which describes the catch, the amount of time spent fishing and the catch per unit of effort, is used to monitor many fisheries throughout the world. These catch, effort and catch rate data are almost always used as indices to support an opinion on the status of fish stocks. Long-term trends in these data are important to the commercial and recreational sectors because they can also be used as measures of fishing success.

Why is it important to make and keep records of my charter fishing?

Records of charter fishing are needed to monitor trends in fishing success of the charter boat industry and the general health of the fisheries resources that are being used. The charter fishing logbook monitoring program provides important fisheries dependent data on catch, fishing effort and catch rates.

Catch - Information about the species composition and number of fish taken is essential. The catch data will be used to estimate the size of the catch for the whole charter boat fleet and enable the long-term monitoring of catch trends for the industry.

Fishing Effort - Information about the total number of charter trips done, the duration of individual fishing trips, and the amount of time spent fishing for different types of fish (e.g. nearshore bottom fishing, sport fishing and/or game fishing) during each trip. This will give us important information about the total amount of fishing effort expended by the fleet, the quality of fishing trips, and will also allow an assessment of changes in catch rates between years.

Catch Rates - Fishing effort and catch information is used to calculate catch rates. We are interested in examining long-term trends in catch rates because changes can be used to assess the fishing success of the industry and the general health of the fishery. When analysed with other data, decreasing catch rates would indicate problems in the fishery, increasing catch rates would indicate a healthy fishery, and no change in catch rate would indicate that the fishery is stable.

How will the information be used?

The information will be used to better manage the fisheries resources of the State. The catches of all the main user-groups, commercial and recreational, are required for the good management of shared fish stocks. The information from records of charter operators catch is only part of the total equation. We already have information about the catches of commercial fisheries, and some of the large coastal and estuarine recreational fisheries. We still need to obtain estimates of the statewide catch of recreational anglers on charter boats, to allow an assessment of the total catch equation..

Is the information confidential?

Yes. The information that is provided to NSW Fisheries from the logbook program or from FishOnline (FisherDirect) is protected under the Privacy and Personal Information Act 1998. As such the information is stored securely and held in the strictest of confidence. NSW fisheries do not provide to any other government or industry group any information that may identify any boat or person.

Why is it important to use the fish species abbreviation codes?

The use of the fish species abbreviation codes is important as these codes are linked to the fish species standardised or scientific names. The use of these codes facilitates the analysis of the data. For example, snapper have many common names such as red bream, cockney bream, reddies, knobbies, squire and schnapper. It makes good sense to ensure that we all know this fish by the same name when submitting data. The same logic applies when reporting catches of other species. The kit has also proven popular with clients, who use the identification kit to check the identification of some of their catches.

How do records of catch and effort benefit the charter boat industry?

The information derived from catch and effort records can be used in a positive way to support the charter boat industry.The industry can use this catch and effort information to ensure more consideration, representation and input into decisions which affect your livelihood and the management of fish stocks. formerly, the lack of historical charter boat information raised the possibility that fisheries managers and politicians may undervalue the industry and therefore government may not adequately consider the needs of charter boat operators.

How do I make records of catch and effort?

You can make records of your charter fishing activity using the NSW Charter fishing monitoring logbook or submit records online using FishOnline (FisherDirect). For More information on registering for FisherDirect can be found here. To request a logbook please contact Catch Records using the detail listed below.

I didn’t go fishing for a whole month. Do I still need to submit a record?

Yes. Even if you don’t go fishing or attempt to take fish for a calendar month you still need to submit a record of nil fishing activity (nil return) within 7 days of the end of the month. The nil fishing activity report is available below:

NSW DPIRD Nil Fishing Activity Report (PDF, 149.7 KB)

Further information

For further information on how to make records of catch and effort please contact

Catch Records

NSW Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development

PO BOX 4157

Coffs Harbour Jetty NSW 2450