Home' Afloat : AFLOAT February 2017 Contents 54 AFLOAT.com.au February 2017
with David Lockwood
Marine Insurance Specialists
Underwritten by QBE Insurance (Australia) Limited
Pleasurecraft ◆ Charter Vessels
For your Quote call (02) 9959-4422
Doneright, sport-fishing tourism can be big
business for developing nations. Hardcore
anglers will pay a motza to travel the world
to catch the right fish. The money flowing into
remote communities can be used to help fund
better ser vices, not to mention provide protection
and value to the fish themselves.
To this end, scientists from James Cook University were
exploring how the Papuan Black Bass, one of the world’s toughest
sportfish, could be used to develop an eco-tourism industry in
West New Britain in PNG.
The research team brought together experts from diverse
fields including fisheries science, ecosystem ecology, natural
resource management, governance, tourism, economics, business
management, and social science. Their interesting research
program in partnership with PNG will run for 10 years.
Fishing PNG sure has its challenges, but so does fishing travel
to most remote areas. Check out this video from Jonathan Jones,
a hipster fly fisher “bum” and guide from Sydney, who headed to
Bolivia to chase dorado. More at https://vimeo.com/195371473.
Bass fishing comps bring bucks
Sports fishing has saved at least one economically stressed
US town in recent times. Staring at a bleak future, the small
backwater of Dayton in Tennessee decided to invest $200,000
to establish a bass fishing tournament on its local Chickamauga
Lake. This was a big gamble for a town in crisis.
The bet has now paid off, with the bass tournament resulting
in the opening of two hotels, four restaurants and the private
investment of $10 million in infrastructure. Amateur sporting
events are big business and attracting anglers to an area to fish
has huge flow-on effects.
Studies have shown fishing tourism, charter trips and the
associated expenditure on food and accommodation can run
into the millions when there are fish to be caught. Small-scale
sports tourism, pardon the pun, is big business in the US.
But the biggest winners isn’t just business, it is the
communities who have a renewed sense of pride. These are
the psychic benefits of hosting a successful event, like a catch-
and-release fishing tournament, where everyone joins in with a
common purpose. A well-run fishing tournament is a terrific thing.
The annual Riverina Classic Fishing Competition run over two
days in mid-February in Wagga Wagga is the kind of community
event that has a great following. See www.riverinaclassic.com.
The Pirtek Fishing Challenge in mid-March is a fantastic national
fishing competition raising funds for prostrate cancer research.
It’s open to anyone. See pirtekfishingchallenge.com.au
This month, the annual Port Stephens Interclub game fishing
tournament gets underway over two weekends, with about 100
boats chasing mainly marlin. It’s among the biggest contributors
of fishing tourism dollars in any Australian port of call and more
than 95 per cent of the fish are tagged and released.
Million Dollar Fish
The Million Dollar fish competition in the Top End is now
in Season Two. There were 101 tagged barramundi released
in Northern Territory waters back in October, 100 of which if
re-caught will each bring a $10,000 reward, one of which has a
million-dollar bounty on its head.
Already, a few of those $10k barra have been landed in a
win-win for this fishing-tourism initiative. This second season
builds on the success of last year, which attracted more than
43,000 registrations from 62 countries including 25,800 people
from interstate and 14,600 Territorians.
In 2016, 10 of the prize-tagged barramundi worth $10,000
each were caught in Darwin Harbour, Daly River, Corroborree
Billabong and Bynoe Harbour. The fantastic fishing competition
also generated national and international media coverage worth
more than $22 million.
Imagine the interest a tagged bream with a million-dollar
bounty on its head could generate in Sydney Harbour?
Meantime, our one big fishing tip this month: chase dolphin
fish around the NSW FADs (See website for GPS locations) with
a troll home for marlin on the mid-morning tide change. Tag the
marlin, but feel free to take a decent fast-growing mahi mahi or
dolly for the table.
Sport fishing tourism
is the saviour
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