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Fishing for information

31 Oct 2013

A new recreational fishing survey will provide a better understanding of South Australian fishers about their activities.

An initial screening survey is now under way to randomly choose at least 600 recreational fishing households.

They will be contacted monthly to record details of their catch and their fishing practices, such as the number of times they went fishing and where they went.

The 2013–14 survey will begin on 1 December 2013 and provide a comprehensive snapshot of the habits of recreational fishers and estimates of their annual catch.

The survey will collect up-to-date information on catch rates for key species in metropolitan and regional waters, by both boat and shore-based recreational fishers.

The data is needed to add to existing knowledge of species, to better understand recreational fishing habits and to support fisheries management decision-making.

The previous survey conducted in 2007–08 found there were about 236,000 recreational fishers in South Australia.

Eyre Peninsula had the most recreational fishers as a percentage of its total population (40.5 per cent) followed by the Yorke Peninsula/Mid North region (28.7 per cent).

Metropolitan Adelaide, while having the highest number of recreational fishers, had the lowest as a percentage of its total population (13.6 per cent).

The survey will cover the following aspects of recreational fishing:
• all fishing activities in saltwater and freshwater
• all non-commercial fishing activity by South Australian residents aged five years or
more
• shore and boat-based fishing and various fishing methods, including line-fishing, diving pots and nets
• all species, with special emphasis on the key managed species such as King George Whiting, Snapper, Southern Garfish and Blue Swimmer Crabs
• all data will be reported on a state-wide and regional basis, including the number of fishers, the levels of fishing effort and the number of fish harvested or released.

The 12 month survey is funded by the State Government, the Fisheries Council of South Australia and the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges NRM Board.

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