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NEWSFLASH
05-10-2001, 07:43 AM
DPI survey fishes for figures

Queensland recreational anglers catch more than forty-eight million fish a year, but over half that catch is released to swim another day.
A comprehensive survey conducted by the Department of Primary Industriesí Queensland Fisheries Services (QFS) has confirmed the stateís enduring enthusiasm for recreational fishing is tempered by a sense of responsibility towards the environment.
"The fact that more than 50 per cent of the catch is released is a pleasing indication of the growing acceptance of the wise use of our fisheries resources," DPI deputy director- general, Peter Neville said.
The second annual QFS survey involved a telephone survey of 22, 000 Queensland households and a one-year fishing diary program undertaken by about 4500 anglers.
"The collection of information on recreational fishing activities is essential for many fish stocks that are targeted by recreational anglers," Mr Neville said.
"This information is critical in the development of fisheries management regimes to enable present and future generations to enjoy quality recreational fishing experiences. Recreational fishing is, after all, an icon of the Queensland way of life."
The survey found that the total number of fish caught by the Queensland residents had increased slightly from 46 million fish in 1997 to 48 million in 1999.
The fishing diary survey results indicated that the top catches for 1999 were whiting (22 per cent of the catch) and bream (14 per cent).
Comparisons between the 1997 and 1999 diary surveys indicate that catches of barramundi, sweetlip, crabs and freshwater crayfish have increased, while catches of cod species (including coral trout), trevally, tropical snappers, southern snapper, Australian Bass, spangled perch and catfish remain the same. Catches of tailor, bream, mackerel, flathead and yellowbelly have decreased.
The latest telephone survey results also suggest there has been a major increase in the number of freshwater anglers heading to dams and impoundments, rather than natural waterways - possibly in response to the DPIís Recreational Fishing Enhancement Programs, which increases fishing opportunities for anglers by stocking these locations with native fish.

ENDS

Further information: Jim Higgs 07 3227 8789 or 0417 195836
Media Officer: Judith Ridinsk Ph: 07 3239 3012
Issued by: DPI Media Unit
PO Box 1085, Townsville, Qld 4810 Fax 07 4778 3634
DPI Call Centre 8am-6pm weekdays on local call 13 25 23