Easter is normally a time when we all like to go and wet a line – for many families it is a time to teach children to catch herring or try their luck chasing salmon, while for others it is simply an opportunity to relax on a beach soaking a bait.
However, these are not normal times and we all need to play our part in keeping ourselves, our families safe and in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Because we are all passionate fishers too, we completely understand many of you will want to go fishing now for its mental health and wellbeing benefits and to put a meal on your table for you and your families. But we urge you to follow Government guidelines and honestly ask yourself if it is essential that you go fishing, and if not stay at home. Fishing hasn’t been banned in WA yet, but if over Easter the beaches and boat ramps are packed with fishers ignoring social distancing rules, there is a chance the Government will be forced to ban fishing – and no one wants that.
If you do decide to go fishing – then we urge you to keep yourself safe and do what you can to limit the risk of being infected with COVID-19 and spreading it in the community. Also just a reminder that interregional travel has been banned by the Government – so make sure you stay in your region over Easter. If you’re unsure if you can or can’t go fishing, and/or for more information about minimising infection risk if you choose to fish – check out our COVID-19 – your questions answered page here.
Of course everyone likes a feed of seafood at Easter, so if you’re looking for some innovative ways to cook up those dhuie or mackie fillets left over in your freezer – the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation has produced this free Fish, Fresh and Frozen cookbook available for download.
Reaching out for support
We have also heard from many of you, how tough you are doing it right now – those who have lost their jobs or are facing redundancy, those who are battling to keep their businesses open and those worried about older members of their families and those with underlying health conditions vulnerable to COVID-19. Over the coming weeks, we will be reaching out to the recfishing community and tackle industry to find out how we can best support you. Given that fishing with our mates will be on pause for a while, we encourage you to reach out and check in with each other. Fishing chat, banter, social and club catch-ups can continue through social media and virtual meeting technology. You can also check out our web page here with some resources that can provide mental health and business support during this crisis and please do drop us a line if you need info or support.
Buy local – support your local tackle dealer and charter operator
WA industries doing it tough right now include the local fishing tackle industry and the charter fishing sector.
We urge you to stock up on your fishing gear now by buying from your local tackle dealer. While tackle stores remain open, it’s good to see they have been finding innovative ways to look after their customers and the community. Some stores have opted to serve customers directly at the front door while maintain social distancing rather than risk multiple people walking through the shop. While others have implemented a ‘drive through’ type system where fishers can call ahead to place an order which is delivered directly to their car boot once at the store.
Online shopping is a fantastic option with many local tackle stores now offering a wide range of products at the click of a mouse. Many regional stores have begun a delivery service to local areas, ensuring contactless transactions all while providing the same friendly service that customers have come to expect. Give your local tackle store a call to see what they can do – they will really appreciate your call and your business. Also consider retaining any charter fishing bookings for the future to help support the charter industry – they also need our support right now.
We wish all of you and your families a good and healthy Easter and we look forward to when we can all get out there and wet a line again restrictions-free when we’ll need fishing more than ever!