Safety First after Rock Fishing Fatality
With the saddening news of the latest rock fishing fatality in Albany, Recfishwest reminds people to stay safe when fishing, especially if you choose to fish from rocks.
Recfishwest Chief Executive Officer Dr Andrew Rowland said there have been more than 22 rock fishing deaths since 2002 in WA alone, and Albany’s Salmon Holes is one of the most prominent locations for rock fishers, but unpredictable weather and large swells makes it dangerous.
Salmon Holes, a high risk rock fishing location, was the first identified in the state wide rock fishing safety strategy as needing safety equipment. Fishers now can utilise rock anchor points, an Angel Ring, a Silent Sentry and can access free life jackets at 3 tackle outlets in Albany.
“Public awareness, promotion and education are of vital importance to reducing rock fishing incidences” Dr Rowland said.
Despite increased media coverage and public awareness campaigns, some recreational fishers are still putting themselves at risk of injury or death. Rock fishing safety has become a state-wide issue, with incidents having occurred at Steep Point near Shark Bay right down to Esperance.
“Popular fishing locations like Albany and Esperance welcome big population increases when the fishing is good and thanks to recent efforts from community organisations and local land managers, rock fishing safety equipment has been installed at high risk locations along the south coast,” Dr Rowland said.
“The state-wide Rock Fishing Safety Strategy, a $300,000 state government initiative, is a combined effort with all partners working hard to reduce the risks and that we are starting to see behavioural changes due to these efforts.”
“Don’t forget, Recfishwest also continues to promote and support the Free Life Jacket Loan Scheme in many tackle stores around the state, where recreational fishers can go in and hire a free life jacket before they head out fishing” Dr Rowland said.
Here are a few simple Rock Fishing Safety Tips if venturing onto rocks this summer:
- Wear a life jacket
- Never fish alone
- Observe first, fish later
- Wear appropriate footwear
- Be familiar with Public Safety Equipment