We were delighted and excited by the Premier’s recent announcement that recfishing is now a supported recreational activity once again. That means so long as we all practise social distancing and good common sense behaviours at the boat ramp, we can all go and wet a line again with the Government’s full support.
Clearly as far as COVID-19 is concerned, we are not out of the woods yet and while fishing is a recommended activity once again, we do need to keep in mind social distancing needs to be maintained unless with members of your household. That’s 1.5m apart or one person per 4m² so think about how that might work on your boat and continue to avoid crowding at land-based fishing platforms like jetties. Please also continue to be patient and give others plenty of space at boat ramps.
This is great news for the wider community as a whole with fishing providing a much-needed break and a good boost for people’s well-being at this challenging time. It’s also a good opportunity to check in on your fishing mates now that permitted gatherings have been increased from two people up to 10 – as we all know how important time on the water and a good conversation can be for mental health. And of course, for those doing it tough financially, as many West Aussies are now, fishing provides the opportunity to put a healthy meal on the table as well.
We have pushed hard to ensure recfishing does not fall off the agenda and to have fishing singled out by the Premier as a recommended recreational activity shows how important our lifestyle is viewed by the Government. Getting you and your kids off the couch and out and about in your region by the waterside is not only a great option to get some fresh air, but it will also help boost the tackle industry and local businesses that benefit from the $2.4 billion that recfishers spend on fishing every year.
To get that $2.4 billion worth of economic activity on track, we are presenting a plan for a recfishing package to the Minister for Fisheries full of initiatives that will promote recfishing, remove barriers to fishing, enhance current experiences and create new fishing options for all West Australians. We are confident an announcement will be coming on this very soon.
Meanwhile we continue to work on a range of initiatives that will make recfishing even better in WA.
So let’s get out there and fish for our mental health and well-being, but let’s also continue to be responsible and continue to play our part in preventing the spread of the virus in our community. Thanks for doing the right thing, stay safe and we hope to bring you more positive news in future updates.