The BIA recognizes the importance of a healthy marine environment for both recreational boat-based fishing and the broader tourism industry.

The BIA recognizes the importance of a healthy marine environment for both recreational boat-based fishing and the broader tourism industry. We are committed to working with stakeholders to ensure the long-term viability of fish stocks and the ecosystems they depend on.

Our Areas of Focus:

  • Marine Parks: The BIA acknowledges the designation of appropriate marine parks as a tool for protecting ecologically sensitive marine areas for the benefit of future generations. However, we believe it is crucial to ensure that these designations are balanced and allow for recreational and tourism boating access and sustainable fishing practices. We encourage governments to utilise robust, long-term data that can withstand peer review and objective analysis when designing marine parks and fishing controls.
  • Fishing Restrictions: We advocate for appropriate government management and strategies related to recreational boat-based fishing. That means governments need to abandon knee jerk reactions to fishing population fluctuations especially when those same governments have not properly managed the fishery over decades, including the impact of poorly regulated commercial fishing. Too often recreational boat-based fishing is put at risk due to poor government decisions and management of the total fishery.
  • Advocacy: The BIA acknowledges the need for and supports responsible fishing practices. We have been actively engaged in discussions regarding proposed restrictions in South Australia, Tasmania, New South Wales and Queensland to ensure they are necessary and if so, that they are fair and reasonable.

Triple Bottom Line Approach
The BIA believes that a balanced approach is essential. We urge governments to consider the “triple bottom line” when making decisions about fisheries management. This framework considers the social, economic, and environmental benefits of recreational and tourism-related boating. Recreational fishing provides significant social and economic benefits to our communities, and these factors must be weighed alongside environmental considerations.

Supporting Citizen Science
In our pursuit of data-driven decision making, the BIA recognises the value of citizen science. Where appropriate, we have recommended that governments explore the use of the Deckee boating app which allows recreational fishers to contribute valuable data, including catch numbers, catch size, species, location, time, and date. This real time information can significantly enhance government decision-making around sustainable fishing practices.

Collaboration for Sustainable Fishing
The BIA is committed to collaborative efforts. We have actively advocated for recreational boat-based fishing alongside the Australian Seafood Industry Association, Australian Fishing Trade Association, Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation, the Game Fishing Association of Australia, and key lobbyists across the nation.