Released Fish Survival

"The National Recreational and Indigenous Fishing survey, undertaken in 2000, estimated the recreational finfish catch in Australia at 107.7 million fish caught of which 47.3 million (43.9%) were released."

National Strategy for Released Fish Survival
National Released Fish Survival Project - Report 1
National Released Fish Survival Project - Report 2


1. To provide leadership for Australia's investment in R&D in released line caught fish survival.
2. To provide recreational fishers, charter operators and fisheries managers with new knowledge on releasing fish and changes in best practices as obtained from the technical projects and other research.
3. To facilitate and promote the development of new tools, models and data to assist in decision making by fisheries managers.


  • The national strategy focussed research on the priorities identified for survival of released fish. From April 2002 to March 2008, under the umbrella of the national strategy, there have been 20 projects dealing with released fish survival involving a total investment of around $7.3 million of which FRDC provided $2.4 million. This has been one of the largest investments in research, development and extension into an issue of importance to recreational fishing.
  • Projects under the national strategy have significantly improved knowledge of all issues involving the survival of released fish. Projects under the national strategy have extended the species where there are now estimates of survival rate from 4 to 21. They have also significantly improved knowledge of the effects of deep hooking and barotrauma. There was also a significant improvement in knowledge of best practices in releasing fish to improve fish survival.
  • The national strategy was instrumental in getting information on the survival of released fish and the results of research into fishers' communication networks and ultimately to recreational fishers. This project extended information obtained from the research projects to recreational fishers by getting new information into the communication networks used by recreational fishers, charter operators and fisheries managers. Extension was achieved through a website, government fisheries agencies, national and state fishing organisations, schools, marine education programs, Fishcare volunteers, tackle stores, fishing media and fishing clubs which ultimately extended information to individual fishers.

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