Northern Territory: 10 year Rec Fishing plan unveiled

The Territory Labor Government is working to ensure the Northern Territory continues to benefit from a strong, sustainable and diverse recreational fishing industry.

The Recreational Fishing Development Plan (RFDP) 2023 – 2033 has been released, providing critical support and guidance for the recreational fishing sector over the next ten years.

Recreational fishing is an enormous draw card to the Territory and a signature pastime for Territorians, with the sector generating $144 million directly and a further $126 million in indirect activity each year.

The RFDP is a comprehensive plan, which sets out the key objectives identified by the community, recreational fishing industry representatives, and the Northern Territory Government to ensure we can maintain a capable, confident and sustainable sector.

Crucially, the plan was developed in consultation with the NT’s Ministerial Recreational Fishing Advisory Committee (RFAC), the Amateur Fisherman’s Association of the NT (AFANT), and the NT Guided Fishers Industry Association (NTGFIA).

The RFDP will be a ‘live’ document, actioned through an online framework over the next decade, to ensure an accessible and transparent way to share ongoing feedback.

The Territory has some of the most sustainable and well-managed fisheries in the world and the Northern Territory Government wants to keep it this way.

Another key part of the future of recreational fishing is ensuring is accessible for all.

MLEI Consulting Engineers have been awarded a consultancy contract for the detailed design of disability access ramps at Shady Camp, Dinah Beach and Corroborree boat ramps.

Upgraded accessible boat ramps will enable easy loading and unloading of ramp users with a disability into their boats, ensuring that all Territorians and visitors can easily experience the very best of the Top End lifestyle.

Territorians are encouraged to check out the RFDP.

“The Territory is known for its world-class fishing experiences, and with one third of locals enjoying recreational fishing as part of their regular lifestyle it’s a religion for some.

“Territory Labor understands the importance and value of recreational fishing in our community, which is why we are ensuring we manage the resource now and into the future

“The Recreational Fishing Development Plan will be the key guide to strengthen the recreational fishing sector over the next decade, with plans to support the diversification and abundance of fish stock as well as facilitate accessibility projects so everyone can enjoy a fishing experience.”

Joel Bowden

Minister for Recreational Fishing

“Recreational fishing is a way of life for Territorians and a huge draw card for visitors to the Territory, worth $270 million to the local economy.

“By working with industry to set a plan for the next decade we can ensure the sector grows in a positive and sustainable way, to be enjoyed for generations to come.

“The Territory Government wants fishing to be accessible and inclusive, so that’s why we are upgrading boat ramps to ensure everyone has the opportunity to enjoy our world class fishing spots.”

Nicole Manison

Minister for Fisheries

“AFANT has been pleased to work with the Northern Territory Government, key stakeholders and hundreds of recreational fishers from around the Territory to produce an exciting vision for the future of recreational fishing.

“The new development plan distils the diverse voices and aspirations of the $270M recreational fishing sector into targeted actions aimed at delivering a sustainable, inclusive and valuable fishing vision over the next ten years.

“With 61,000 or one in three residents, and tens of thousands of visitors going fishing each year, recreational fishing is synonymous with the NT way of life, it also supports 2,500 Territorians in full time work, so there is huge interest in delivering this plan and working towards the bright fishing future it promises.”

David Ciaravolo


“The new Recreational Fishing Development Plan is pivotal for the future of the Territory’s valuable fishing tourism industry.

“Aiming to safeguard and enhance recreational fishing experiences, the plan recognizes the sector’s significant societal impact, from economic growth and job creation to improving community health and wellbeing.

“With the Territory’s abundant fish stocks and rare unspoiled wildernesses, the potential is immense. Guided by its strategic vision, the plan will help us navigate through challenges and open up Territory-wide opportunities, ensuring both economic and social gains.”

Kane Dysart

Executive Officer, NTGFIA