While Australia celebrates Gone Fishing Day today and anglers take part in multiple events around the country ‘wetting a line’, the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) has long been committed to funding research to ensure this pastime continues.
Through the established Recfishing Research Subprogram comprising an expert committee, the FRDC receives advice on research priorities for the recreational fishing sector. It aims to ensure recreational fishers have improved fishing experiences and play a greater role in the stewardship of fisheries research and ultimately the resource.
A recent FRDC funded project coordinated by OzFish Unlimited on building capacity in recreational fishers for habitat rehabilitation has proven very successful. This resulted in a massive effort on behalf of the recreational fishing community to improve fish habitat and enhance fishers’ capacity to take this work further. As part of this work, volunteers plated trees; built shelter for native fish; re-built oyster reefs; received and provided education about the health of waterways, how to achieve it and maintain it; cleaned up riparian and coastal areas and more. Outputs of this work include a national strategy on managing fish habitat, which has been developed by recreational fishers.
Other active FRDC projects include one to assess new technologies to improve the cost, effectiveness and robustness of recreational fishing surveys.
Capacity building projects are also important, such as a bursary tour for young future leaders of the recreational sector to attend the World Recreational Fishing Conference held in Canada last year. Outputs of this investment are already being realised with participants gaining employment in the sector, some even switching from completely different roles to take up positions dealing with recreational fishing.
In addition, the FRDC is funding the Southern Bluefin Tuna education project to educate recreational fishers in handling of fish whether to keep for a feed or for catch and release. The outcome is to empower recreational fishers as stewards of the resource. This project is linked to the national catch and effort survey for Southern Bluefin Tuna being funded by the Commonwealth Government.
The FRDC through investing in knowledge, innovation, and marketing aims to increase economic, social and environmental benefits for Australian fishing and aquaculture, and the wider community.
The FRDC is a co-funded partnership between its two stakeholders, the Australian Government and the fishing and aquaculture sectors.
General Manager Research & Investment
Fisheries Research and Development Corporation
D +61 2 6285 0425
M +61 408 559 131