Many people may not realise the important role that recreational fishers play in monitoring and caring for our waterways and fish stocks. Recreational fishers are natural custodians for these important natural resources; they spend much of their free time on the water, and so they are often the first to observe changes within the natural environment. Additionally, their ongoing enjoyment of Australia’s rivers, lakes, estuaries and oceans, and the fish that live within them depends upon the ongoing health of these ecosystems. This creates a strong motivation for anglers to become involved in ensuring they are appropriately managed. In many areas across the continent, anglers are becoming increasingly involved in monitoring programs to track the ongoing health of our waterways, and projects to arrest and reverse environmental decline. They also perform an important function in lobbying government for improved management of our fish and water resources, and offering a voice of caution regarding potentially harmful development proposals.
This project, entitled ‘Angling for Conservation’ which was funded by the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, has gathered information on a range of examples from around Australia where anglers have played a key role in caring for our fish and waterways. In bringing this information together in this way it is hoped to show the important role that anglers play, and help inspire more similar action around Australia, as more anglers learn about the great work undertaken by their fellow fishers.
The dataset compiled here is a continual work in progress. There are more projects and initiatives kicked off every day, many by small groups or even individuals. If you hear or know about a project or initiative with a conservation or sustainability focus which has had involvement from recreational fishers which you think should be included in the Angling for Conservation database click HERE and tell us more about it.