Recreational fishers are being encouraged to apply for a grant from a $12 million trust fund, designed to enhance community fishing facilities, NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Ian Macdonald said.

Mr Macdonald said the NSW Recreational Fishing Trust was a chance for recreational fishing groups, individual anglers, councils and other community organisations to improve recreational fishing facilities in their local areas.

“There is a lot of money on offer, so it’s a great opportunity to get some worthwhile community projects happening, which will benefit recreational fishers in NSW,” Mr Macdonald said.

“This funding is provided from recreational fishing licences and the money raised is placed into two trusts, one for saltwater and the other for freshwater.

“These trusts mean anglers can rest assured that the fees they pay for their licences are reinvested into worthwhile recreational fishing projects that directly benefit them.”

Mr Macdonald said the NSW Recreational Fishing Trust has allocated a total of $3 million to new and ongoing freshwater projects, while over $9 million will be spent on saltwater fishing projects, next financial year.

“Committees of expert fishers allocate the funds as part of a five-year strategy that includes projects with immediate and long-term timeframes,” he said.

“Projects funded in previous years include artificial reefs, fish stocking programs, the restoration of fish habitats, fish aggregating devices (FADs), Fishcare volunteers, fishing platforms, fish cleaning tables and science and research.”

Applications for funding close on Friday, 20 March 2009.

Funding applications must benefit recreational fishing. Contributing funding and in-kind support, such as voluntary labour, is encouraged.

For more information or assistance with applications contact DPI on 02 6648 3917 or email recreational.fishingtrust@dpi.nsw.gov.au