PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture has launched a recreational fishing survey as part of a national project to assess the performance of Australian fisheries from a social perspective.
While extensive work has been conducted to develop indicators of the ecological and economic sustainability of Australian fisheries, very little research has taken place to examine the social aspects of fisheries management, such as the benefits that people experience from fishing, and how to increase these benefits.
Executive Director of PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture, Professor Mehdi Doroudi, said the recreational survey was an important step in the development of a more thorough national framework for fisheries management.
"Ultimately, the national project seeks to establish a set of social objectives and indicators to inform decisions regarding the future management of fisheries," Professor Doroudi said.
"It’s a triple-bottom-line approach that for the first time will see ecological, economic and social factors considered in managing and assessing a fishery’s performance, in accordance with the principles of ecologically sustainable development.
"You don’t need to fish often to complete the survey as it is essential we gather information from all types of fishers to help inform the study."
From 23 January to 29 February 2012, PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture staff will be visiting fishing spots around the popular fishing communities of Ceduna, Port Lincoln and Wallaroo distributing the survey to local and visiting fishers.
Survey packs will also be available from a number of tackle shops, caravan parks and visitor information centres in these regions.
"These communities have been chosen because of their high level of interaction with multiple fisheries including commercial, recreational and Aboriginal traditional fishing sectors," Professor Doroudi said.
"However, feedback is being sought from fishers across the state with the survey also available online or on request."
The research project is jointly funded by the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC), Fisheries Council of South Australia and CSIRO. It will also examine the social aspects of the commercial and Aboriginal traditional fishing sectors.
Respondents who complete the survey will also be eligible to enter a random prize draw to win their choice of a charter boat fishing trip for three or a $500 fishing voucher.
Hard copies of the survey can be obtained by calling 1800 981 499 or emailing the Principal Investigator of the project, Dr Lianos Triantafillos at firstname.lastname@example.org. The survey can also be completed online at www.pir.sa.gov.au/recfishingsurvey