New figures provided in a report published by the Commonwealth Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) earlier this month, reveal that the participation rate of women who undertake recreational fishing in the NT has edged out the men, supporting an industry that contributes $270 Million to the NT economy and supports over 2,500 jobs.

The National Social and Economic Survey of Recreational Fishers: Northern Territory Snapshot details that while across the rest of the nation, fishing participation is significantly higher amongst men than women, the Northern Territory is bucking the trend with 33% of women going fishing, compared to a national average of 17.8%. The updated NT women’s fishing participation rate pips that of NT men, which is also nation leading and contributed to an overall, nation-high participation rate of 32.7%. In all, the survey found 60,800 adults Territorians went fishing each year during survey period.

The study showed that the value recreational fishing and fishing tourism brings to the NT has continued to grow, with locals and visitors contributing $270M to the NT’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2020 (up from estimates of around $100M in older studies). Much of the economic activity flows through the NT economy, with rec fishing revealed to support 2,500 full-time equivalent jobs; 1,778 of which, are direct jobs in charter fishing, tackle stores, accommodation and other retail or services used by fishers.

And what better way to celebrate the NT’s nation leading participation rates and headline economic value, than with the SWB Barra Challenge being held this weekend on the spectacular Corroboree Billabong. This all-women’s tournament, run by Kristen Noble of the Palmerston Game Fishing Club will see approximately 200 female anglers target Barramundi and Saratoga with the skill, proficiency and equipment that is the envy of any angler.

Quotes attributable to AFANT CEO, David Ciaravolo:

“It’s fantastic to see recreational fishing participation at an all-time high among diverse groups of Territorians, because we know from the social component of this study that people who go fishing are more connected to the environment and more resilient to the challenges that life throws at us from time to time.

 “Now confirmed to contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to the NT economy and supporting thousands of jobs, AFANT is proud to be representing a sector that is sustainably contributing towards the NTG’s goal of a $40B Territory economy by 2030.

 “To capitalize on the economic value, and the clear appetite for Territory fishing experiences among visitors and locals, it will be essential to maintain the abundant fish stocks, like the Barramundi which the NT is famous for, as well as to strategically invest in stewardship, management, research and recreational fishing infrastructure.”

Quotes attributable to AFANT Projects and Administration Officer, Joanne Rudd:

“The strong female fishing participation rate in the NT comes as absolutely no surprise to me. Territory women love fishing. We fish with our families, our friends, and our children.

 We love the challenge and the fun of fishing, and the connections it brings in our relationships and to the environment.

 “Women in the NT play important roles in the fishing community with representation in leadership roles, fishing clubs, tournaments, manufacturing, and the tackle industry.

 Women in the NT are confident anglers, boat operators, fishing business owners and champions of fishing on the national stage, and we would like to see more opportunities for safe and accessible fishing in the NT, which will help to secure broad participation and all the benefits that flow from it into the future”.

Read the reports here:

NT Report cover image: Charlotte Klose

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