Study to count salmon cash

Callum HunterSouth Western Times
School of Australian Salmon.
Camera IconSchool of Australian Salmon.

As anglers ready their rods and check their tackle, a new study has been announced by the State Government to ascertain just how much the annual salmon run is worth to local economies.

However, even before the study is launched, the economic benefits of the salmon run have been noticed by local businesses.

Both Sportsmarine owner Paul Collett and Whitey’s Tackle and Camping owner Ben White said there was a pick-up in business around the time of the salmon run.

“There’s a lot of part-time fishermen that suddenly hear of salmon and decide they better get in on the act, so we definitely sell more rod and reel combos, bait and all the associated tackle,” Mr Collett said.

“There’s locals and plenty of visitors that come in... a higher percentage are definitely coming in and buying gear specifically for salmon.”

Recfishwest operations manager Leyland Campbell said recreational fishing was worth $2.4 billion annually to local economies and the study was to focus in on a specific species.

“Salmon is perfect for this because it really mobilises tens of thousands people who eagerly await that salmon run,” he said.

“There’s a Facebook page called Salmon School Tracker 2019 and that has 37,000 followers... it really goes to show the importance of this fish.”

Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly said the salmon run was one of the most exciting times on the recreational fishing calendar and the study was well-founded.

“A study that quantifies the economic benefit is needed to provide a strong foundation for promoting the potential tourism, recreational and community value of this fishery,” he said.

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