There is need to collect accurate and robust information on recreational fishing levels to inform fisheries management. Recreational fishing estimates are critical to ensure sustainable harvest of community owned fisheries resources. In South Australia, established Fishery Management Plans are in place and recreational catch must be monitored to ensure that the sector is operating within its allocated shares of the resource. Recent changes to the availability of traditional sampling frames and shifts in the way the people communicate mean that it is becoming increasingly cost-prohibitive to undertake surveys using the established methodology. There is a need to re-evaluate how recreational fishing catch and effort is assessed and to develop revised survey methodologies using the latest survey tools and techniques.
Smartphone applications may provide a cost-effective method to collect information on recreational catch. However, as most apps are self-selected, sampling is non-probability based and it is not possible to calculate confidence intervals or margins of error. There is a need to compare app-based data with traditional phone-diary surveys to compare estimates and evaluate the accuracy of the results measured relative to independent population benchmarks. The outputs from this project will provide valuable information to other jurisdictions who have existing apps or are looking to implement an app.- based survey