Indicator: CO-62 Estimated number of marine animals harvested by recreational fishers

Data

Recreational fishers caught approximately 136 million aquatic animals in the 12 months prior to May 2000, over a period of about 102.9 million hours.

Source: Ed Henry, GW and Lyle JM, 2003, The National Recreational and indigenous Fishing Survey, viewed 24 May 2006, http://www.daff.gov.au/nrifs.

What the data mean

80% of total recreational fishing effort occurred in coastal, estuarine or offshore waters. Although the proportion of fishing effort does not necessarily translate directly into a proportion of the total recreational catch, it is reasonable to assume that around 80% of the creatures caught by recreational fishers, around 100 million animals, were taken from coastal and marine waters (including estuaries, but excluding coastal freshwater bodies).

Data Limitations

Time series data will be needed to show changes in number of animals caught relative to changes in fishing effort over time. A decline in animals caught without any decline in effort could be indicative of a reduction in fish populations. A reduction in fish populations may result from a number of pressures, including both the recreational fishing itself or from a range of other pressures on coastal and marine ecosystems (for example, commercial fishing or marine and coastal pollution or climate change). On the other hand, a decline in numbers caught accompanied by a decline in effort may be indicative of the effectiveness of societal responses to the pressures of recreational fishers, for example, reduced bag limits, increasing protection of particular places or species, educational responses, or broader cultural changes.

Commercial fisheries generally measure their catch in tonnes, rather than individual animals, so comparison between the pressure of commercial and recreational fishing is difficult.

Issues for which this is an indicator and why

Coasts and Oceans — Direct pressure of human activities on coasts and oceans - Pressure of fishing 

Changes in number of animals harvested by recreational fishers is broadly indicative of changes in the pressure exerted on marine ecosystems by recreational fishing. Comparison of the number of animals harvested by Indigenous, recreational and commercial fishers also gives a basis for comparison of the significance of these pressures.

Other indicators for this issue:

Biodiversity — Pressures on biodiversity - Pressures on marine biodiversity: pressures of fishing 

All fishing activities place pressure on biodiversity. Changes in number of animals harvested by recreational fishers is broadly indicative of changes in the pressure exerted on marine ecosystems by recreational fishing. Comparison of the number of animals harvested by Indigenous, recreational and commercial fishers also gives a basis for comparison of the significance of these pressures.

Other indicators for this issue:

Biodiversity — Utilisation and value of biodiversity - Harvesting and trade in wildlife 

Recreational harvesting of wild fish is the principal non-commercial harvesting of wild animals in Australia.

Other indicators for this issue: