Fishing is one of the most popular recreational activities in Australia. Every year, over 700,000 Western Australians bait up and cast a line. While so many fishers take for granted the opportunity of heading to the water and casting a line, in 2000 it became evident to a group of people that there were barriers hindering people with disabilities from being able to do the same.
That awareness led the Department of Fisheries Volunteer Fishing Liaison Officer, Mr. Neville Thomas to the development of a program to provide opportunities for people with disabilities to get outdoors and enjoy the excitement and reward of fishing. As the idea caught on the “Fishers with Disabilities” program took form and developed into Fishability.
Fishability is a not for profit association that delivers programs and activities designed to increase the active involvement of people with disabilities into recreational fishing. The organisation was incorporated in 2003. Fishability has since provided recreational fishing opportunities to members in our community living with disabilities.
The Western Australian coastline is host to many recreational fishing locations and through collaboration, information distribution and advocacy for access, Fishability aims to see many more locations accessible to people with disabilities.
The continuance of Fishability to this day would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of our volunteers and the ongoing support from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development https://www.dpird.wa.gov.au/ and industry partners Act, Belong, Commit https://www.actbelongcommit.org.au/ and Recfishwest http://recfishwest.org.au/.