What happens when commercial fishing ends?

26th November 2014

In 2001 NSW introduced a recreational fishing fee that generated revenue for the Government. Some of this revenue was used to remove commercial fishing and create a “Recreational Fishing Haven” in the Tuross Lake. A report by the NSW Department of Primary Industries aimed to estimate the recreational fishing effort and harvest in the Lake, to see if there had been a change in this effort and catch and to understand if recreational fishing quality changed. This was achieved by surveying recreational anglers before and after the removal of commercial fishing.

The report found that the recreational catch of some species increased and some decreased but that there was no material change in the total recreational catch following the removal of commercial fishing. However following the removal of commercial fishing, recreational fishing effort increased by 25%, probably due to the attractiveness to recreational anglers of a recreational fishing haven. It can therefore be inferred then that recreational fishing catch rates actually decreased following the removal of commercial fishing. The full report can be found here.