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AFTA President hails survey as ‘critical’ tool in shaping future


A new survey on recreational fishing in Australia has been welcomed as ‘critically important to the industry’ by the organisation representing the country’s tackle trade.

The National Social and Economic Survey of Recreational Fishers is the first of its kind in more than 20 years. It reveals information about participation rates and fishing’s contribution to the economy and society.

“This survey is a critical tool in shaping the future direction of recreational fishing nationally and, as importantly, the recreational fishing industry, whether at retail, wholesale, manufacturer or charter operator level,” said Australian Fishing Trade Association (AFTA) President Michael Starkey.

The survey reveals that one in five Australians go fishing every year, with numbers up from 3.4m in 2000 to 4.2m, while fishing supports 100,000 jobs and contributes $11 billion to the country’s economy.

“AFTA has always been confident that our industry was growing and this survey clearly reflects the strong position of our industry, despite the impacts of COVID. Clearly AFTA members deserve a pat on the back for being the frontline drivers of this growth.

“For the first time the survey has strengthened the focus towards the broader economic contribution of the industry and not just tackle sales as a value measurement. This model strengthens AFTA’s argument as we demonstrate the potential economic impacts of political decisions on our industry.”

The survey was conducted by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Science (ABARES), the University of Canberra and the Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation. It was supported by funding from the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) on behalf of the Australian Government.

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