Degree Name

Honours Degree of Bachelor of Science - Human Geography


Geography and Sustainable Communities


Professor Gordon Waitt and Michelle Voyer


Overfishing has become a global management issue. In recent years, government and academic attention has turned to the impacts of recreational fishing, which has been estimated to contribute to 12% of global fish harvest and declines in fish species (Forbes et al. 2015). However, little research attention has been paid to the recreational fishing practices and knowledge of ethnic minorities. Therefore, the overarching aim of this research is to better understand the recreational fishing cultures of Asian-Australians to provide insights into ocean sustainability. The aim is underpinned by three research questions: 1) What are the ideas, skills and materials that sustain the fishing practices of Asian recreational fishers? 2) What is the relationship between Asian recreational fishers and fish? 3) What implications arise for fisheries management from better understanding the fishing practices of Asian recreational fishers? A mixed methods qualitative approach was utilised, combining semi-structured interviews, ‘go-alongs’, and a research journal. The research found that fishing practices changed post migration particularly through learning about the practice of catch-and-release. Furthermore, the practice of catch-and-release was rooted in specific ideas around sustainability, and its performance was understood to provide care for the fish and recreational fishers. Moreover, sustainability, performed through catch-and-release, was linked to understandings of white Australian citizenship. The implications of these findings are that fisheries management should be alert to the ways in which recreational fisheries remain a racialized terrain by the speech and actions of some white-men-who fish. Fisheries management could help break down stereotypes of Asian fishers by celebrating their commitment to environmental sustainability.