Recfishwest welcomes commitment to rock fishing safety
Peak recreational fishing body Recfishwest has welcomed a new commitment by the State Government to resource a consolidated, consistent approach for rock fishing safety in Western Australia.
The Government has committed $300,000 over three years after a number of tragic incidents which indicates more needed to be done to protect fishers.
“Recfishwest played a key role in ensuring the voices of rock fishers were heard and accounted for in the lead up to this decision,” Chief Executive Officer Dr Andrew Rowland said.
“Rock fishing is widely regarded as one of the most dangerous pastimes in Australia and accounts for more than 25 per cent of coastal drowning deaths in WA, according to Surf Life Saving Australia.
“Public awareness, promotion and education are of vital importance to reducing rock fishing incidences.”
Despite increased media coverage of several recent incidences, recreational fishers are still putting themselves at risk of injury or death.
Rock fishing safety has become a statewide issue, with incidents occurring between Steep Point near Shark Bay right down to Esperance.
Summer has already seen two unfortunate incidents in which recreational fishers have paid the ultimate price while fishing.
Recfishwest is reminding fishers to stay safe this summer.
Here are a few safety tips to follow:
Tell someone your plans, including where you plan to fish, and when you plan to return.
Avoid fishing alone where possible.
Assess your fishing area before beginning to fish. Larger than average waves may wash up to the area you have chosen. If this is the case, choose somewhere else to fish.
Know the conditions. If the weather is unfavourable, stay home.
Know how to swim.
Wear a personal flotation device.
Where possible, wear light clothing that won’t get waterlogged.
Recfishwest advocates for sustainable fishing resources and policies that ensure long-term benefits to all recreation al fishers.