Recreational fishing is a unique nature-based outdoor recreation activity in that it offers the opportunity of participation that spans a lifetime – childhood, adolescence, adulthood and senior years (McManus et al. 2011). It has very diverse participation socially and culturally, with varied motivations for participation influences satisfaction, on-going participation and wellbeing outcomes.
This means it has potential to provide a wide range of health and wellbeing benefits that may change over the course of a person’s life, especially when compared to other outdoor activities people are able to engage in during different stages of life.
Health benefits are broad and varied, including the obvious physical benefits of walking, standing, casting, increasing heart rate, accessing fresh air and sunshine, etc., to the less obvious mental wellbeing ones and those of social capital and self-efficacy.
Whilst there is evidence to support these assertions, there is still much more work to do to gain full understanding and knowledge of the social benefits of recreational fishing.
The study is funded by the Australian government and the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation.