For the Thorn family from Camden, the contribution of fishing to the state and local economy comes as no surprise.
The family - dad Andrew, mum Joanne and kids Jacob and Sophia - travel to the Illawarra region "half a dozen times a year" to fish, boat and relax on and around Lake Illawarra.
The family and their dog set out on to a blustery lake yesterday, returning empty-handed but happy.
"With boat fuel, food, bait and things like that, we would probably have spent $30 today," Mr Thorn said.
"It all adds up."
Factoring in fishing tackle and equipment, upkeep of their small fishing boat, fishing licences and other small expenses, and fishing can turn into an expensive day out.
"Then there's the other money you spend in the area when you're here," Mrs Thorn said.
The Thorns have been in the Illawarra since Boxing Day, staying at Barrack Point. Mrs Thorn said they had been eating out at restaurants, and buying groceries from supermarkets.
"If you don't catch any fish, you still have to eat," she said.
"If you go away for a week, you're not just spending money on fishing."