Appendix A - Recent studies on recreational fishing in Victoria

A review of recreational fishing surveys in Australia goes back to 1973-1994, with 84 survey reports produced in marine water mostly. Most studies over that period were carried out in Queensland and New South Wales (in Victoria, all nine survey studies undertaken prior to 1994 had the main purpose of eliciting expenditure values). Since 2000, more emphasis has been placed on building recreational fishery databases. Fisheries Victoria introduced onsite recreational surveys (through interviews and angler diary programs) since the mid-1990s, within the Freshwater Fisheries Research Program and the Marine and Estuarine Fin Fisheries Monitoring Project. The main purpose of these surveys was to develop databases providing information on fishing catch and effort, as well as size and composition for stock assessment. A selection of most recent studies (undertaken since 1997) in relation to recreational fishing in Victoria are provided in Table 5.1.

In terms of the economic valuation for recreational fishing, earlier work undertaken by the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry in 2003 indicated that there are 550,000 recreational fishers in Victoria. By contrast, the economic study of recreational fishing in Victoria prepared by Ernst and Young for VRFish found that this group in Victoria is substantially larger, with at least 721,000 recreational fishers in 2008/09. The study found that the contribution of this activity to the Gross State Product in 2008/09 was $825 million (0.3% of Victorian GSP), with $2.3 billion in direct expenditure and 5,200 jobs being associated with recreational fishing (including flow-on jobs) in Victoria over that year. However, this study does not provide details of the accuracy around anglers' expenditure estimates which are the basis for the economic contribution estimate.

Only a small number of surveys for the purpose of economic valuation of recreational fishing have been undertaken in Victoria over the last decade (most of them delivered over the phone or the internet). Although all evaluation studies have generally focused on different areas of the State, most of them substantially rely on data from the two main surveys mentioned above. A summary of recent studies in Victoria along with their valuation techniques and key findings is presented below. Most relevant is the Ezzy and Scarborough (2010) study of recreational SBT fishing in Portland, which estimated the consumer surplus value of recreational fishing (using the travel cost method) but not the total economic value.

Table A.1: Overview of recent studies on recreational fishing in Victoria
Study Method used Key findings
The economic significance of recreational fishing in Victoria. NIEIR (1997) Field survey (790 respondents) from mid Jan to April 1997. Expenditure data were weighted according to the direct relationship with fishing.
Input-output (I-O) tables.
Total value of expenditure was $1,037 million. The contribution to Victoria's GSP was 1,265 million ($830 million as household disposable income) and created 27,000 jobs. The Melbourne region had a 60% share of the GSP contribution followed by the northeast region.
National recreational and indigenous fishing survey: economic report (2005). Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. National telephone/diary survey conducted in 2000/01. Non-response and behavioural biases were assessed by a suite of follow-up surveys. Provides info on motivations of Victorian recreational fishers. Identified 549,803 recreational fishers in Victoria. The direct expenditure was found to be $396.3 million, which is $721 per fisher.
Economic study of recreational fishing in Victoria prepared by Ernst and Young (2009) Web based survey (1,000 respondents) on demographic, fishing preferences and expenditure data. A benefit transfer approach was used for the willingness to pay for recreational fishing. Input-output (I-O) tables. Identified 721,000 recreational fishers in Victoria., The activity provide 2.3 billion direct expenditure and contributes with $825 million to the Gross State Product and supports 5,200 jobs in Victoria
Economic Study of Recreational Fishing in Victoria Murray Cod Assessment. Ernst and Young (2010) Input-output (I-O) model based on Ernst& Young 2008/09 survey data.
Data were escalated by the CPI for past 5 years and the compound growth rate of Victorian population.
Direct expenditure on Murray Cod recreational fishing is about $166.7 million, with a $59 contribution to GSP and 374 jobs, in 2009/10.
If this activity is banned, a large part of anglers would substitute Murray Cod for other fish species. These impacts are evaluated using assumptions of 5-20% reduction in direct expenditure.
Economic contribution of recreational fishing in the Murray Darling Basin. Ernst and Young (2011) Input-output (I-O) and benefit transfer approach based on Ernst& Young 2008/09 survey data and participation rates from the National recreational and indigenous fishing survey (2000). Direct expenditure ranges between $571 and 1686 million, with a most likely estimate of 1352 million. Best estimates of the contribution to GDP is 403 million and to employment is 10,950 jobs
Estimation of the recreational use value gained from recreational fishing of SBT at Portland. Ezzy, E., Scarborough, H. Deakin University (2012) Data collected during the 2010 fishing season.
A travel cost study was undertaken to estimate the recreational value of the fishery.
The size of the recreational catch at Portland in 2010 is significant in terms of the management of the fishery.
The recreational use value (consumer surplus estimates) per person per visit is between $33 and $132. The estimates of annual recreational use value of the fishery for the 2010 season are in the range $449,533 to $1,325,124.

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