Burnett MP learns about lure of fishing on tourism trip

MEMBER for Burnett Stephen Bennett went on a bit of fishing trip recently - to pick the brains of the Northern Territory on how to enhance fishing tourism in Queensland.

Mr Bennett was a member of the Queensland Parliament's Tourism Backbench Working Group which travelled to the NT to see how well they do recreational fishing tourism in the Top End.

"Recreational fishing in Queensland provides a diverse range of leisure, sporting and adventure related experiences,'' Mr Bennett said.

"(But) we need to make our experience more appealing, with such a large existing recreational fishing population and the issues of attracting more people to the region.''

Mr Bennett said Queensland could do well to use some of the strategies already in place in the NT to attract more recreational fishing tourists from within Australia and internationally.

"Recreational fishing is an important part of Queensland's lifestyle," he said.

"It can be a major tourism drawcard and significant contributor to the economy, with recognition as a large and growing activity.

"The Northern Territory is leading the way by creating a regulatory environment that encourages recreational fishing.

"This has translated into growing economic benefits for the Northern Territory through tourism, both in terms of intra and interstate travel and expenditure.''

"The development of a world class sports fishery for barramundi has helped engender a strong conservation ethic among local and visiting anglers with 'catch and release' of barramundi being popular," he said.