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News Article

Created / Updated on Saturday 22nd of January 2022
Photos / Files Available

SUNFISH QLD was formed in 1993 out of the Queensland Sport and Recreational Fishing Council (QSRFC) which had been operational for some 20 years.

Representing all recreational anglers as well as members, SUNFISH QLD is the state's peak recreational fishing group and consults all the major Statewide fishing organizations such as:

Australian Underwater Federation Queensland (AUFQ)
Blue Fin Fishing Club (over 5,000 members)
South Queensland Amateur Fishing Clubs Association
Junior Anglers Association
3 Regional Branches
Pine Rivers Fish Management Association
Caloundra Power Boat Club

SUNFISH QLD services its members in many ways and has

  • a democratically elected Executive
  • 11 Member organizations spaced from the NT border to the Gold Coast
  • a registered membership of over 45 000 club, group and individual anglers

The SUNFISH QLD management committee (Sunfish Central) (list attached) services the members of SUNFISH through a centralized information and administrative function, keeping members up to date on relevant issues. Some of the benefits are:

  • daily information
  • contact with Government
  • coordination of replies to Government Discussion Papers
  • strategic observation of fisheries and environmental matters
  • liaison between 45,000 individual member anglers and the angling public

We have as partners, the Queensland Boating Industry, the Queensland Tackle Industry, Healthy Waterways, SEQ Catchments and the Fish Habitat Network..

The Executive of SUNFISH has developed working relationships with The Queensland Minister for Primary Industries and other State and Federal Ministers whose portfolios impact on the fishery.

SUNFISH QLD has regular stakeholder meetings with the Queensland Department of Primary Industry & Fisheries and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. These communication lines are used when necessary to advise of our position on relevant issues or give advice on matters concerning anglers.

SUNFISH QLD is primarily an advisory group for recreational fishers throughout Queensland. We are consulted by Government for a variety of purposes such as a recreational fishing advisory source and networking with recreational fishers throughout Queensland. Our members sit on the Queensland Fisheries Management and Advisory Committees. We have some fifty people on those and other groups, all working voluntarily.

SUNFISH QLD is involved in many other areas such as habitat protection/restoration, land care, coast care, education, research and a myriad of other committees.

SUNFISH QLD is however, at arms length from the Government and is APOLITICAL.

SUNFISH QLD has established the most efficient and effective fisheries information network in Queensland.

SUNFISH QLD works with Department of Primary Industries & Fisheries , the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) but at the same time are not constrained if we think that they are ignoring our concerns. We also have a good working relationship with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) and are part of their Resource Advisory Committees (RAC's) and Local Management Advisory Committees (LMAC's). All these areas of voluntary consultation save Governments time and money.

SUNFISH QLD prepare submissions on EIS's that impact on fishery resources, respond to Fisheries Discussion papers, draft Management Plans and Regulatory Impact Statements (RIS), etc.

We have a strong input into fishery research and assist with fish stock assessment in rivers and estuaries. Our Freshwater Fishing & Stocking Groups provide the manpower to assist DPI fisheries in the stocking of Queensland's dams and impoundment's. We also have a professionally developed and (voluntarily) run Angler Education Program including professional quality instruction for junior anglers and an education Manual for School curriculum use.

SUNFISH QLD has established the most efficient and effective fisheries information network in Queensland.

Since 1999 SUNFISH QLD and all our Member Bodies have been equipped with computers and e-mail facilities, SUNFISH QLD has a WEB page at Our web page has become a source of information for members, educators, recreational fishers and other recreational fishing interests.

Queensland continues to have concerns with fisheries habitat destruction, inappropriate commercial fishing practices, and downstream impacts on our fishery by residential, industrial, rural and mining industries and the list goes on. However, our voice is being heard and we are getting the message across on how the economic input from the recreational fishing industry will be affected through inappropriate land practices.

Our Fishing Industry, worth some $1 billion per annum, is too economically important to be put at risk through being ignored by Government or by allowing other industries to impact on it adversely.

Working with Fisheries, a comprehensive data base on how many people fish in Queensland, where they fish, what they fish for and how often they fish has been established. The original survey included some 26 000 phone calls throughout the State. DPI & F has now completed 4 such surveys with our assistance. At present SUNFISH QLD has completed four expenditure surveys throughout Queensland and more are planned on "what it costs to go fishing."

The monies for all these surveys comes from the $3.8 million collected annually from Queensland's recreational boat owners in the form of the PPV levy & from the Stocked Impoundment (SIP) Permit. Some of these monies are available to SUNFISH as project grants.

Monies to finance our operations come from varied sources such as the QDPI & F for project work, the Commonwealth Rec Fishing Community Grants project, affiliation fees & donations from businesses. Some equipment is supplied through the Qld Government Gaming fund grants.

Some of our members have, on our behalf, produced reports on various aspects of the fishery and its associated habitat including an excellent paper on the requirements of natural river floods for the spawning of Barramundi and a paper on fish kills in Queensland.

The Chairman and members of the Executive normally manage to visit every Queensland SUNFISH Branch at least once per year. The travel requirement are significant but it has been time well spent, as we believe it is essential that the senior executive visit these areas to explain many issues which are hard to get across without face to face contact.

I FISH and I VOTE originated here in Queensland just before the 96 State elections and it had a devastating effect, especially in North Queensland. It was an ANSA innovation. This theme has been taken up all over the country and the politicians are now well aware of the slogan.

The above thumbnail sketch is to point out what is possible. We still have much to achieve including a significant increase in independent funding if we are to be truly effective and if we are to stop relying on the goodwill of volunteers and the Government. We need a broader membership base and we need to achieve a better level of corporate support.

SUNFISH QLD however, is nowhere near where it wants to be in the future and needs your assistance to represent our angling community.

Bruce Alvey, Chairman,

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