Recreational fishing is a very popular pastime in Tasmania, with proportionally more Tasmanians fishing each year than in most other parts of Australia.
Recreational fishing provides significant social, health and economic benefits as well providing as a source of food for many people.
In order to better understand these benefits and support the sustainable management of the fishery, IMAS is undertaking a survey of the Tasmanian population to determine the number of persons who go fishing and their general characteristics, including age, gender and how often they go fishing.
(Image credits: above right - Daniel McRorie; below left - Jamie Harris)
The first part of the survey will involve contacting up to 5000 Tasmanian households by telephone over the next six weeks to collect profiling information such as household demographics and basic fishing activity.
This screening survey will also be used to determine eligibility to participate in a follow-up diary survey.
IMAS has engaged a Tasmanian market research firm to conduct the screening survey but will manage the diary survey component.
The diary survey will be used to monitor fishing activity in detail and will be expanded to represent the fishery as a whole.
This study represents the 4th general fishing survey undertaken in Tasmania since 2000 and will update the state of the recreational fishery and its overall significance to our island lifestyle and economy.
The study is being funded by the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (via Fishwise Resource Management program) and the Inland Fisheries Service and has Human Research Ethics Committee approval.
The IMAS research team is led by Dr Jeremy Lyle and Dr Sean Tracey, both of whom have had many years of experience in recreational fisheries research and are internationally recognised as leaders in this field.