Meet the 2017 Australian World Recreational Fishing Conference Study Tour

Capacity is built through the development, education and engagement of people. This can be achieved by connecting people with researchers, managers, representatives and ideas from around the world.

To enhance the capacity of Australia’s recreational fishing sector, the Australian Fisheries Research and Development Corporation is supporting a study tour, through the Recfishing Research Subprogram, to the 2017 World Recreational Fishing Conference No.8 (WRFC8) in Victoria, Canada, from the 16th – 20th of July. The study tour will additionally give participants the opportunity to learn, first- hand, about some of Canada’s most iconic recreational fisheries and their innovative approaches to management.

Participants in the 2017 WRFC8 study tour were selected from all over Australia, through a highly competitive application process. Two types of bursaries have been awarded through the project: Future Leadership, and Research. A number of the participants are also presenting at the conference, and collectively, the study tour will prepare a detailed report to deliver upon their return.

As their journey evolves, the Australian WRFC8 Study Tour will be sharing their insights, new networks, knowledge and experiences with the recreational fishing community back home, in real time through Facebook posts and updates. The Australian WFRC8 Study Tour will also provide updates and briefings on key themes and presentations, interviews with world leaders in management and research, live videos and reports from the field.

Be sure to go on this journey and learn with the Australian WRFC8 Study Tour, by following them on their Facebook page.

Australian WRFC8 Study Tour Team

Evan Dixon

Evan Dixon is a Northern Territory born recreational fisher and primary school teacher. He spends his free time fishing in the greater Darwin region for barramundi, pelagic and tropical reef species.

For several years, Evan has fished competitively in the Top End Barra Series, a local competition with six rounds of barramundi fishing held across a range of locations. Evan holds a committee position with the Amateur Fishermen’s Association of the Northern Territory (AFANT). As a committee member, he dedicates his time to supporting AFANT’s mission to represent recreational fishing in the NT and ensure the quality of the sport. Evan has recently taken on the role of convening the AFANT Recreational Fishing Research and Tagging Subcommittee.


James Florisson

James Florisson is the Research Officer at RecfishWest, in Western Australia. James commenced work in the recreational fishing sector while participating in the Young Future Leadership program and studying Marine Science at Murdoch University in 2013. In 2014-15, James took part in the National Seafood Industry Leadership Program, as well as completing a Diploma in Fisheries Compliance and Management from the Kimberley Training Institute. Following this, he started his Honours degree in using citizen science as a tool for monitoring artificial reefs.

James’s current role involves conducting research into citizen science, monitoring methods and the development of Habitat Enhancement Structures. He is also assisting in recreational fishing research around Western Australia.

James Florrison

Jamie Crawford

Jamie Crawford is from Port Lincoln in South Australia. His professional background is Marine Aquaculture, working in hatchery production of temperate finfish species.

A keen recreational fisher, Jamie has been a freelance writer for 18 years. He has contributed to SA Angler, Fishing World and Sport Fishing Australia and several other publications. Jamie has been a Shimano Sponsored angler for around 10 years and recently co-authored the Fishing Guide to South Australia.

Jamie has worked as a creel clerk undertaking recreational fishing surveys at boat ramps on the Eyre Peninsula (co-ordinated through Fisheries Victoria).

At the WRFC8 Jamie is keen to learn more about how other countries manage a shared resource between the recreational and commercial sectors. He is also interested in learning about the structure of peak recreational bodies and recreational fishing licences, as he believes the South Australian recreational sector would benefit from this knowledge.

Jamie Crawford

Domenic Holland

Domenic has worked in the retail side of the tackle industry for the past five years and has been in daily contact with recreational anglers. After taking up angling at a young age, fishing has been a life-long passion, with Domenic still wetting a line at every opportunity.

Following his completion of a Bachelor’s degree in marine science at Curtin University in 2015, Domenic is currently undertaking an honours project studying wild Marron (a freshwater crayfish commonly targeted by recreational anglers) populations in the South-western Australia. Domenic’s aim for his research is to of contribute to an improved management plan.

Domenic Holland

Michael Burgess

Mike has been hooked on fishing from a young age, especially surf beach fishing for elusive mulloway, big tailor and Australian salmon off the west coast of WA.

With 15 years’ experience in fisheries and natural resource management, in both Western Australia and Victoria, Mike commenced in the role of Executive Officer for the Victorian Recreational Fishing Peak Body, VRFish in February this year after a short period coordinating Fishcare Victoria. In WA, Mike led community education and engagement programs for the Department of Fisheries WA and held a 2 year term as an elected Director of Recfishwest.

Micheal Burgess

Sean Tracey

Sean has worked as a fisheries scientist for the last 18 years, conducting research on the role of fish in global food security, assessing the biology and ecology of a range of temperate fish and invertebrate species. Other work includes investigating the effect of ocean currents and temperature on the dispersal of marine larvae and how the ocean drives changes in suitable habitat of marine biota.Sean finds this topic particularly interesting, as the waters off temperate southeast Australia are increasingly becoming warmer.

After completing a PhD in 2007, Sean commenced the role of a research fellow at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies in the field of recreational fishing research. Growing up, Sean spent most of his time in, on, or fishing around the waters of Tasmania. His research has allowed Sean to blend his passions for science and recreational fishing.

Sean continues in this role and has led and participated in a broad range of recreational fishing research and engagement in stakeholder and management issues at the local, national and international levels.

Sean Tracey

Sam Williams

Sam is a young fisheries researcher in the final six months of his PhD, at the University of Queensland. His studies focus on resolving the biology and ecology of billfish (marlin), as well as developing a framework to better facilitate collaboration between Australian fisheries researchers and recreational anglers.

Sam sits on the Resource Assessment Group for the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery, where he has developed a keen interest in resource sharing arrangement between the commercial and recreational sectors.

Beyond his work, Sam loves the water and recreational angling. He enjoys targeting anything from flathead in the estuaries to large pelagic fish offshore.

Sam Williams

Travis Preece

Travis is from Tasmania and has spent his entire life fishing recreationally. He pursuits a range of species, from trout in the Central Highlands, to Southern Bluefin tuna off the continental shelf on the East Coast.

Travis has been on the TarFish (Tasmanian Association for Recreational Fishing) committee since 2012 and now holds the position of Northern Tasmanian Regional Representative.

Travis is very passionate about recreational fishers having their fair share of the resource and that the resources are managed well, so as to ensure great sport and recreational fishing can be enjoyed for generations to come.

Travis Preece

Australian WRFC8 Study Tour Leaders/ Mentors

Frank Prokop

Franks leads the 2017 WRFC8 study tour with a wealth of experience and a 30-year career in the sector, including a role as Australia’s first dedicated recreational fisheries manager. Frank is currently working with Curtin University on social licence and on gas facility decommissioning, citizen science and applied climate change research/management.

Frank has worked in NSW, WA and on the National Policy Development committee – National Oceans Advisory group. He also has extensive experience in the areas of commercial fishing, aquaculture, terrestrial and aquatic conservation. For 14 years Frank worked in the role of CEO at Recfishwest. There, he pioneered Young Future Leaders programs and fishing clinics for breast cancer survivors. He also worked on resource sharing initiatives, recreational property rights and outcome driven recreational fisheries management. Frank led the Australian delegation to the WRFC5 in the USA.

Frank has written 15 books, 50 articles and numerous columns for regional and national fishing publications. He also has considerable media experience. Other roles include past President of Recfish Australia, Member of the Recfishing Research committee, member of the People Development committee and a FRDC Board member.

Frank was the inaugural winner of lifetime achievement award and Australian Sports Medal in 2000 for service to recreational fishing.

Frank Prokop

Allan Hansard

Allan Hansard is Managing Director of the Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation (ARFF) and CEO of the Australian Fishing Trade Association (AFTA). To Allan, recreational fishing is in the genes, as he comes from a strong linage of recreational fishers, with his great, great, great, great uncle authoring a book on trout and salmon fishing in Wales in the 1830’s. Before moving into representation of recreational fishing, Allan represented the forestry and plantation industries at the national level.

Allan has degrees in Economics, Science and Resource Economics. Before joining the private sector, he worked for the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE).

Allan Hansard

David Ciaravolo

David Ciaravolo is a professional in the area of recreational fishery representation and management, and is passionate about the sustainable development of recreational fishing in Australia.

Hailing from Adelaide, where he worked as Executive Director of RecFish SA, David now lives in Darwin, where he has taken on the role of Executive Officer at the Amateur Fishermen’s Association of the NT (AFANT), earlier this year.

A keen fisher with varied interests, from trout to tuna, David enjoys a career focused on improving opportunities and experiences for recreational fishers. David was a participant in the FRDC’s 2014 Future Leaders Study tour to the WRFC7, and has since become even more passionate about capacity building in the sector, which has driven him to work towards developing state-based and regional future leadership opportunities for others.

David will be presenting at the WRFC8 about how AFANT and Fisheries NT engage fishers in the management of iconic barramundi fisheries.

David Ciaravolo

Josh Fielding

Josh Fielding has worked with the FRDC since 2014, leading their strategic planning and RD&E planning processes. He now project manages several research portfolio areas, including recreational fishing.

Prior to working at the FRDC, Josh worked in the aquaculture industry, as well as working for some time in the Australian Fisheries Management Authority across various fisheries.

Josh Fielding