Measures of the value of commercial fishing, such as gross value of production (GVP) and net economic returns, are available for the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery (ETBF). However, there is little information on the value of the same tuna and billfish stocks to recreational fishers and the value of gamefishing to the wider community. This information is becoming increasingly important to fishery management and policy that must consider the interests of all resource users. In particular, fishery policy and management must take into account economic and social values to resource users and the wider community.
The need for socioeconomic research is supported by Recfish Australia and the Recreational Fishing Advisory Committee (RFAC). The list of national recreational fisheries research priorities described in the Recfish Research Business Plan identifies social, health and economic benefits of recreational fishing as the first priority. FRDC recognised that there is limited knowledge of social effects on the fishing industry, including the recreational fishing sector, by setting up a Social Sciences Research Co-ordination Program.