Member for Ballina Don Page MP today encouraged local organisations and anglers with ideas for projects to help improve recreational fishing to apply for funding from the NSW Recreational Fishing Trust.

Mr Page said that the grants allow money generated from the sale of NSW recreational fishing licences to be re-invested back into improving recreational fishing opportunities in the region.

“Fishing is an immensely popular recreational activity, with around one million people dropping a line in NSW every year,” Mr Page said.

“Funds raised in the past year through recreational fishing licence fees are now available to assist recreational fishing groups, community organisations, councils and individuals to improve fishing in their local areas.

“Funding that is generated from the sale of NSW recreational fishing licences is placed into separate saltwater and freshwater fishing trusts, which spend all funds on improving recreational fishing.”

Funding from NSW Recreational Fishing Trusts is open to individuals, groups and organisations, including fishing clubs, local councils and universities. Joint applications are also encouraged.

Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson said the allocation of trust funds is recommended by committees of expert fishers as part of a five-year strategy that includes both short-term and long-term projects.

“In the 2012/13 round of Recreational Fishing Trust funding, the NSW Government is allocating around $14 million to a wide variety of programs throughout NSW, including fish stocking, artificial reefs, fish aggregating devices, fishing facilities, Fishcare volunteers, fishing clinics and essential research to improve recreational fishing,” she said.

Applications for funding close on Friday, 2 March 2012.

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 NSW Department of Primary Industries on (02) 6648 3917, email recreational.fishingtrust@dpi.nsw.gov.au or visit www.fisheries.nsw.gov.au