23 March 2016 MEDIA RELEASE
Catch Salmon and Return Home Safe this Easter
With the Easter long weekend approaching, Recfishwest are reminding people to take personal responsibility and stay safe when fishing this salmon season.
Recfishwest Chief Executive Officer Dr Andrew Rowland said locations such as Albany and Esperance welcome a large population increase during the Easter period for the great salmon run on their annual migration around the West Australian coast.
“Salmon are a superb sports fish, however it’s not worth putting your life at risk when the salmon turn up” Dr Rowland said.
South coast locations popular with salmon fishes often see unpredictable weather and large swells which can make fishing from the rocks dangerous.
“The excitement of a good salmon run often sees people overlook simple steps that ensure their safety, as they rush to go fishing from the rocks unprepared.”
“For those fishing this Easter, Recfishwest strongly recommends fishing from the beach.’’ Dr Rowland said.
Local Albany fishermen and well respected fishing safety advocate Andrew Jarvis urges people to stay off the rocks.
‘’We simply do not want anymore more deaths. If you must fish from the rocks make sure you are prepared.”
Dr Rowland praised the tireless work by community groups, volunteers and state and local governments to make fishers safe, especially on the south coast.
“The work that has been done in Esperance, Albany and surrounds, which are our most high risk locations, to make people safe is enormous and a big thank you to the people making people aware of safe fishing practices in the those areas” Dr Rowland said.
Recfishwest continues to promote and support the Free Loan Life Jacket Scheme in 20 tackle stores around the state, where fishers can go in and hire a free life jacket before the head out fishing.
“If the right precautions are followed, fishing from the rocks can be a safe activity.’’ Dr Rowland said.
If you must fish from the rocks, Recfishwest wants fishers to understand the simple rock fishing safety messages:
• Know how to swim
• Wear a life jacket
• Never fish alone
• Observe first, fish later
• Wear appropriate clothing and footwear
• Be familiar with public safety equipment
• Tell someone your plans.
• 25 People have died fishing from rocks since 2002
• There are 19 locations state wide where the public can hire approximately 100 Free life jackets:
o Albany (4 locations), Esperance (4), Duke of Orleans (1), Margaret River (1), Augusta (1), Dunsborough (1), Bremer Bay (1), Steep Point/ Shark Bay (1), Quobba (1), Carnarvon (2), Hopetoun (1) and Kalbarri (1); Albany and Katanning Migrant Resource Centre will be established in April 2016.
• Recfishwest leads the state-wide fishing safety strategy and the Rock Fishing Safety Committee consists of:
o Department of Fisheries, Department of Parks and Wildlife, Department of Fire and Emergency Services, Surf Life Saving WA, Royal Life Saving Society, Department of Sport and Recreation
• 20 Angel Rings (Life Rings) installed state-wide, with a further 16 (Albany and Denmark) to be installed March/ April 2016
• 37 rock Anchor Points have been installed State-Wide