Another four trial Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) have been deployed in Darwin waters as part of the Territory Labor Governments $50 million investment in recreational fishing.
The investment will help boost the recreational fishing sector to create jobs for Territorians and cement the Territorys reputation as a world-class fishing destination.
The first of five FADs was deployed off the coast of Dundee two weeks ago. Two of the remaining four are now located at the western edge of Fenton Patches, while the other two have been placed near North Gutter to help expand recreational fishing opportunities.
The deployment of the FADs is an important tool to help reduce the pressure on at risk reef fish by providing easier access for fishos to target pelagic species. These species are less susceptible to the effects of barotrauma and are more suitable as catch and release targets.
FADs attract small bait fish which then attract bigger fish right up the food chain, creating fishing hot spots for pelagic species.
As stated by Minister for Primary Industry and Resources, Ken Vowles:
Investing in recreational fishing is an investment in jobs for Territorians.
Providing more recreational fishing opportunities will boost the sector by encouraging more locals and tourists to fish Territory waters. All the associated industries, such as boat servicing, fuel and supplies, and fishing tourism will benefit from a growth in the sector.
In 2010 the rec fishing industry was valued at $80 million. We are in the process of undertaking a new rec fishing survey to realise the present value of the sector, so we can continue to invest in it accordingly.
FADs are part of that investment. They have been proven to work at different locations around the world, and our FAD program was designed with input from the rec fishing community, including AFANT, to maximise the outcome for Territory fishos.