FACT SHEETS - HOW WE USE
• Fishing in Australia can be divided into 2 categories, recreational and commercial.
• Coral reefs provide a nursery for 30% of fish species in the GBR and are therefore an important component of fish populations and the fishing industry.
• Worth over $2 billion annually, fishing and aquaculture is the fifth most valuable Australian rural industry after wool, beef, wheat and dairy.
• There are many different fishing techniques used worldwide, including handfishing, spear & bow fishing, netting, angling, trapping, dredging, trained animals, cyanide & other toxins, explosives and electrofishing. Each of these has different impacts on the marine environment, the last three methods being particularly damaging.
• Australia’s fishing zone is the third largest in the world although the waters lack nutrient-rich currents and therefore have lower fishing catch. • Australian waters contain some 3,000 known species of fish and at least an equal number of crustaceans and molluscs, but only about 10 per cent are commercially fished.
• Recreational fishing in Australia is a multi-billion dollar a year industry, and an important leisure activity for over five million Australians.
• The top 5 angling fish from the GBR are: Australian Bass, Barramundi, Bream, Coral Trout & Crabs.
• There are a number of no-take species, which are prohibited catch under Queensland fisheries regulations. These fish must be immediately returned to the water, should they be accidentally taken.
• On the GBR fishing is restricted in some areas (Marine Park Zones) in an effort to keep fishing sustainable and particular animals - like whales, dolphins, green turtles and dugong - are protected.
• Traditional fishing is an important part of the cultural heritage and subsistence of the many saltwater Aboriginal people of the Great Barrier Reef region.
• Department of Aquaculture, Fisheries and Forestry: www.daff.gov.au
• Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries: http://dpi.qld.gov.au/cps/rde/xchg/dpi/hs.xsl/28_ENA_HTML.htm
• James Cook University Fishing & Fisheries Research Centre: http://www.jcu.edu.au/ees/cffr/index.htm
• Queensland no-take species: http://www2.dpi.qld.gov.au/extra/pdf/fishweb/recprotectedspecies.pdf