NZ Fishing World home
NZ Fishing World

Recreational fishing is a billion dollar industry

November 11, 2019
Recreational fishing is a billion dollar industry

Kiwis and tourists spend a billion dollars a year on recreational fishing but the benefits don’t stop at the fish on the end of the line.

This expenditure ripples through the economy generating 1.7 billion dollars in economic activity, supporting over 8000 jobs and contributing at least $638 million to the New Zealand economy. As recreational fishers we are more than paying our way, this significant contribution to the national economy enhances the wellbeing of all New Zealanders.

Good news

These results must be welcome news for our decision makers and treasurers. At last, some positive news to counteract diminishing tax returns from the farming sector being crushed by falling commodity prices.

Government policy makers also have something to celebrate. The recently released report: Recreational Fishing in New Zealand. A Billion Dollar Industry, provides enough evidence to support a recalibration of monetary focus - from low rent, bulk harvesting fishing practices to high value recreational uses of abundant fisheries.

For example, a fly fishing expedition targeting kahawai as part of a Lodge package must be more attractive and sustainable than wiping out entire schools to sell for a bizarre price, between $1.30 and $1.60 per kilo, whole frozen, no added value, no GST, to foreign shores. Add on a snorkeling trip, dolphin watching, a Maori cultural experience or wine tour and we are getting into bonus territory of having high abundance and diversity in our marine waters.

Tourism is the fastest growing economic sector in New Zealand. More people are arriving, they are staying longer and spending more. We need to be making the most of our opportunities to offer low impact marine recreation experiences to our visitors.

What’s the hold-up?

The biggest handbrake is current fisheries management policy that tries to maximise catch, and largely ignores environmental factors to maintain bulk exports of our fish.

Having information on the size of the recreational fishing industry and the jobs this supports will help to refocus the compass onto the best use of our marine resources. This change in policy direction will only come about if it is based on sound economics and renewable sources of income and this latest report provides that evidence in bucket loads.

Regional benefits

Compared to other recreational activities it’s clear that people are willing to spend a lot of money on their fishing. For many fishers their boat is a major purchase, add on marina fees or a heavy duty towing vehicle and we have a convoy of money changing hands.

People also like to fish when on holiday. This drives money out of the main centres and into the regions, supporting much-needed jobs and businesses in coastal communities.

Last year a similar report showed that recreational fishing contributed AUS$3.4 billion to the New South Wales economy, generating over 14,000 jobs. Australian politicians are now scrambling to maximise their voter appeal by announcing a range of projects to support recreational fishing.

One proposal is to spend $35 million in NSW to phase out commercial netting, increase fish stocks, improve recreational fishing, boating and club facilities, and increase the numbers of recreational fishers by 25%, to one million by 2020. How good is that?

Recreational fishing is a winner on a personal, regional and national level. Adding a fishing experience to a tourist’s enjoyment of New Zealand’s other natural wonders, and hobbits, would be an easy sell. After all, New Zealand has been the reputed “Anglers Eldorado” since Zane Grey’s book in the 1920s.

Ninety years later we need a government committed to restoring abundance and diversity so we can maximise the value of our precious marine resources.  

Related posts

Motiti Protected Fishing Areas from 11 August 2021
Press Release
The new Motiti Protection Area comes into effect on 11 August 2021, creating three protection areas around Motiti Island where the taking of all plants and animals (including fish and shellfish) will be prohibited. To protect the reef systems, anchoring on these reefs will also be prohibited. This is to protect indigenous biodiversity and acknowledge the significant marine, landscape and cultural values in the area. Those three areas comprise of Ōtaiti (Astrolabe Reef); including Te Papa (Brewis Shoal), Te Porotiti, and O karapu Reef, Motuhaku Island (Schooner Rocks) and Motunau Island (Plate Island).
New netting restrictions now in place to protect Hector’s and Māui dolphins
Press Release
In June, Fisheries New Zealand and the Department of Conservation announced decisions on a revised Hector’s and Māui dolphins Threat Management Plan. Hector’s and Māui dolphins are among the world’s rarest dolphins. They face a range of human-induced threats, including fishing, seismic surveying and the disease toxoplasmosis. As a result of these decisions, on 1 October 2020, new fisheries measures took effect restricting commercial and recreational set-net and commercial trawl fishing off the west coast of the North Island, and commercial and recreational set-net fishing off the north, south and east coasts of the South Island. In addition, drift netting will be prohibited in all New Zealand waters.
Fish On in the Hawke’s Bay region under Alert Level 3
Press Release
With the country stepping out of Alert Level 3 on Tuesday, freshwater fishing is now a great option for recreation and to provide for the table. "Being able to break the cabin fever and go to your local river fishing is fantastic safe family fun" says Nick Page from the Hawke’s Bay Fish and Game. "A quick check of our regulations book will let anglers know where they can go locally for a fish" says Nick Page.
Great fishing on now in Rotorua Lakes district
Press Release
Anglers are being urged to get into some “terrific” fishing on the Rotorua lakes – after reports of excellent catches and record spawning runs underway.
Tench return to Timaru's Centennial Park Lake
Press Release
After ten years absence, tench have returned to Timaru’s Centennial Park Lake, offering anglers a challenging new fishing opportunity.
All Related

See Also

Suzuki Clean Ocean Project
Boats
Suzuki Develops the World's First Micro-Plastic Collecting Device for Outboard Motors: Suzuki Motor Corporation has developed the world’s first* Micro-Plastic Collecting Device which can be installed on outboard motors. Marine plastic waste has become a significant environmental issue in the recent years and a huge amount of such wastes that has not been gathered correctly flow into the ocean. They are then broken down into micro-plastic under the natural environment and their impact on the ecological system is also becoming a concern. To tackle these issues, we focused on the structure of the outboard motor, which pumps up tons of seawater to cool the engine and then returned to the ocean. We developed a collecting device which collects micro-plastic waste by utilizing the returning water. Through this device, micro-plastic waste around the water surfaces can be collected just by running the boat.
How to: Night jigging for bluefin tuna
Deep-water
Night jigging for bluefin has been a successful method for catching these fish when they are feeding down deeper at night, and gives you the option to double your opportunities once you've travelled all the way to the tuna, or when they are just not coming up to hit trolled lures. Here's a few tips on how they rig and the lures used overseas, that will absolutely work here in NZ, as proven by young angler Flyn Jack recently.
How to fly fish nymphs with an indicator
Fresh water
Tom Rosenbauer discusses the uses of various indicators and how they are used to successfully nymph fish different parts of the water column for trout.
How to find trout in a river
Fresh water
Here's an excellent 30 minute comprehensive guide from Orvis, with some great information relevant to rivers anywhere, on where to look for trout.
The Lateral Line: EP #29
Inshore
The boys are on a 4 day fishing mission in a harbour they were land based fishing a month or so back. Milan managed to land a nice Trevally from the beach so the boys reckon they should have a tonne of fun fishing the harbour in the boat. The fishing was harder then expected so Milan comes up with a crazy idea to catch something different and ends up stuck in the mud.
The Lateral Line: EP #28
Inshore
The boys are fishing in an area they have both heavily fished in years gone by. Both Nathan and Milan haven’t fished the area in over 2 years. This particular part of the Bay Of Plenty is about to become a marine reserve and the boys are super keen to fish it just one more time before it’s locked down to fishing. The dream being to land one last jumbo King Fish for old times sake. Excitement levels start peaking as multiple schools of Kahawai come to the surface to feed late in the afternoon. Top water lures are cast around the schools of feeding Kahawai trying to provoke a bite from New Zealand’s yellow tail King Fish.
All Posts

Drop NZ Fishing World a line!

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.