National Recreational and Indigenous Fishing Survey

The National Recreational and Indigenous Fishing Survey of Australia (NRIFS) commenced in May 2000 and was conducted for twelve months through a screening survey and diary survey of intending fishers. The survey was the first attempt to obtain detailed information on nation-wide catch and fishing effort of Australian recreational and indigenous fishers. It was funded under the Fisheries Action Program of the Natural Heritage Trust, by the Commonwealth and state Governments through the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC), and State contributions.

The following pages contain a selection of key results from the NRIFS (part of the Fisheries and Marine Sciences pages in Bureau of Rural Sciences), Recreational Fishing Survey Results and Indigenous Fishing Survey Results.

More background to the project and an electronic copy of the survey report can be obtained in the documents below.

The National Survey is a joint initiative of Commonwealth and state Governments to obtain fisheries statistics to support the management of non-commercial fishing in Australia. 

The aims of the survey were:

  • to obtain reliable, consistent and comparable data Australia-wide on angler participation and demographics, catch and effort, attitudes and awareness, and economic activity
  • to obtain information on indigenous fishing in Australia to help achieve a wider understanding of a range of issues including the important role it plays in many indigenous communities, and
  • to obtain information on international tourist fishing activities.

The 2000-01 'National Recreational Fishing Survey – Economic Report' provides a summary of expenditure attributable to recreational fishing we demonstrate some of the policy issues to-which the data might be applied. It is worth emphasising the strengths of the data set collected in the National Recreational Fishing Survey. In particular, the care and efforts taken to establish a robust data set including the mitigation of non-statistical error. The survey involved multiple interviews with respondents over a twelve month period making it a unique data set.

The National Recreational and Indigenous Fishing Survey is available in the following formats: