Standard Talk (15 mins) Australian Society for Fish Biology Conference 2022

Factors motivating participation and satisfaction of recreational fishers in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria (#180)

Ali Jalali 1 , Justin Bell 1 , Simon Conron 1 , Harry Gorfine 1
  1. Victorian Fisheries Authority, Queenscliff, VIC, Australia

As a popular leisure activity, recreational fishing plays a key socio-economic role in Australia, especially in regional areas where it also provides economic benefit to local businesses. Port Phillip Bay (PPB) is the largest marine recreational fishery in Victoria. The motivational reasons for recreational fishing in PBP have, to date, not been explored, nor has angler satisfaction been investigated in detail. To this end, using long-term satisfaction and motivational information collected during creel surveys at 20 boat ramps in PPB during a 10-year period, we evaluate a variety of socioecological and fishing related reasons of anglers’ engagement in fishing. We also assess spatiotemporal patterns in motivation and satisfaction from regional and annual perspectives as well as the influence of key target species, including catch rate. Thus, this research provides insight into the behaviour of anglers and factors that influence their overall satisfaction, with the ultimate goal being the formation of performance indicators that can be used to both understand and monitor angler satisfaction into the future. In the case of snapper, the most important target species in PPB, these performance indicators will form a key component of a recreational snapper harvest strategy being as how social objectives are an important component of recreational fisheries. More broadly, the study also provides insight into how management interventions will impact angler satisfaction, therefore making it more likely that the needs and concerns of recreational fishers are considered in decision making processes.