Recreational fishing

Recreational fishing in Australia is an important leisure activity. It provides economic and social benefits to the Australian community. It's part of life for Australians of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds.

Australia's recreational sector is the largest and most widely dispersed recreational activity that uses a natural resource.

From mum and dads who fish once a year to game fishers, recreational fishing contributes to the well-being of many Australians.

The Australian Government has an important stewardship role in helping to develop the recreational fishing industry as a sustainable, long-term and valuable contributor to the Australian economy.

Most recreational fishing occurs in state and territory waters and they are responsible for day-to-day management. This includes the recreational components of some Commonwealth managed commercial fisheries, such as game fishing.

Tuna Champions

Tuna Champions is a targeted education program that promotes fish stewardship and best practice fishing to the recreational fishing sector. The program also focuses on improved handling practices of released fish to maximise survival rates.

The Tuna Champions program began in 2018. It was scheduled to run for 4 years focussing on southern bluefin tuna.

The 2021-2022 Federal Budget provides a further $900,000 to extend the program for another 3 years. It also be used to expand and promote stewardship and best fishing practices of all tuna species of interest to recreational fishers.

To read more about Tuna Champions or to become a Tuna Champion visit the Tuna Champions website.

Recreational fishing in Australia – 2011 and beyond: a national industry development strategy​

In 2016, the Australian Government provided $600,000 for the National Recreational Fishing Survey to identify the range of economic and social values of fishing for fishers, businesses and communities across Australia.

It will provide the first up-to-date picture of the value of recreational fishing in Australia since 2001. Read more at the National Recreational Fishing Survey website.

You can find the recreational fishing rules for the states and territories on their websites:

Last reviewed: 19 May 2021
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