2021 has seen the re-launch of FishAbility by Fishcare Victoria program after a long break from the water! Funded through the Victorian Recreational Fishing License Program, the aim of the FishAbility project is to introduce people with a wide range of physical, intellectual, and mental health disabilities and older Victorians to the sport of fishing whilst promoting responsible fishing practices to participants and caregivers.
Staff and the volunteer working group hosted several ‘Come and Try Fishing’ clinics at accessible locations around Port Phillip Bay, including Princes, St Kilda, and Mornington Pier where participants were introduced to the rules and practices of fishing in Victoria as well as how to cast and use fishing gear responsibly. We have enjoyed some beautiful weather conditions and time on the water this Summer, with all locations providing plenty of space for our groups.
Exciting advancements have been made to the trailer this year which is getting ready to be stocked with new equipment including specialised rods and reels that enable individuals with limited mobility to enjoy the sport of fishing independently. In addition, we are looking forward to working with Deakin University School of Life and Environmental Science Students again this year in the Community Science Project where we are making plans to develop and evaluate training and education tools for the FishAbility volunteers and carers. This will involve the evaluation and customisation of FishABility clinics and educational programs whilst broadening connections with community-based disability support organisations to help build the profile and networks of the program.
More info on FishCare Victoria can be found here