Published: 20 February 2023 Updated: 21 February 2023

Understanding the big picture

When we think about economic benefits, we often think about the dollars spent on an activity. This is an important economic benefit of recreational fishing, which is being examined as a core part of this study. However, it isn’t the only economic benefit of fishing – looking at direct expenditure on fishing is just one part of the story of the economic value of recreational fishing.

Some of the different ways recreational fishing can have economic benefits include:

  • Impacts of direct spending by recreational fishers on the Australian economy, and on the economy of different regions around Australia
  • Flow-on effects of this direct spending through the broader economy, as wages paid to those who work in tackle shops, fishing businesses, boat repair, fuel, bait and ice suppliers are spent through the economy
  • The ‘intangible’ value of recreational fishing in the form of
    • Maintaining cultural traditions that often span multiple generations and form a key part of the history and heritage of many families and communities in Australia
    • Maintaining social connections between friends and families who fish together
    • Mental health and physical health benefits of fishing, which can in turn lead to reduced healthcare system costs
    • The value fishers place on participating in a sport they enjoy.

These are just a few of the types of economic value that can be measured for recreational fishing.


The study is funded by the Australian government and the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation.