Esperance’s fishing community is closer to resecuring land-based fishing accessibility which has been lost for five years, with confirmation the town’s new $7.5 million jetty is half-way complete.
“We had hoped the jetty would be a little further along by now and completed by the end of the year, however, we are still on track as per the contract to be finished by March 2021,” Shire of Esperance CEO Shange Burge said, in great news for the Goldfields-Esperance region’s fishers.
Four-hundred metres of fantastic fishing
H+H Architects consulted Recfishwest regarding the new jetty’s design, with Recfishwest’s James Florisson playing a role in putting forward recommendations for fishing-specific features on the structure.
The new jetty will be 400m long once built and incorporate fishing-enhancing design elements, such as:
- A widened modern fishing jetty component which will allow enough space for fishers to fish either side of the gangway;
- Lower platforms to accommodate fishing and diving access;
- Fishability ‘set-downs’ to allow people in wheelchairs and scooters to fish easily from the jetty;
- Jetty-based fish-cleaning station positioned over water;
- Fish-friendly lighting to fishing areas; and
- Fisher-friendly railings and built-in fishing seats.
Unlocking fishing opportunity for locals and holidaymakers
In December 2015, there was community uproar when it was announced Esperance’s renowned Tanker Jetty – which officially opened in 1935 – would be closed due to its declining condition.
The jetty had been an iconic fishing location for 80 years, with locals and holidaymakers alike fishing for a host of bread-and-butter species including herring, skippy and squid.
“Understandably, its closure was a massive blow to the community given the lack of land-based options at Esperance,” James, who cut his fishing teeth as a lad in Esperance, said.
“For many young fishers, myself included, the original jetty provided hours on hours of fishing fun.
“That’s why this new jetty is so important – that loss of land-based fishing accessibility was a huge blow for the fishing community, particularly kids who had limited other options in town.”
Once built, James said Esperance’s new jetty will re-open land-based fishing access which had been unavailable for almost five years.
“A quality, safe fishing platform in the heart of Esperance has always been an integral part of the local community, also providing fishing access for the many visitors who roll into town each year,” he said.
“Many jetties have been lost across WA over the years, that is why it is great to see a new one being built – every seaside town should have a fishing jetty.”