Safe Fishing

Recreational fishing is a highly valued activity by many Western Australians and forms an integral part of the economic and social fabric of coastal and regional communities across Western Australia.

With 12,800km of coastline, a variety of estuarine, inland and coastal water ways offering a diverse array of fishing experiences and prized fish, it’s no wonder 1/3 of the population participate in this recreational activity. It’s estimated that over 780,000 people fish recreationally in Western Australia with many people holding more than one recreational fishing licence.

Unfortunately it is the rocky coastlines combined with hazardous conditions and poor decision making that plays a prevalent role in fishing fatalities.

At Recfishwest, we work tirelessly to promote amongst our community the need for safety to be part of every fishing experience. We believe as great as fishing is, there’s no point if you don’t live to tell the tale.

We work with local communities, land managers, government agencies, ambassadors and key partners to promote safe fishing through community education, messaging, safety initiatives and in the installation of safety infrastructure across the state.

 

Find out what projects we’ve been working on:

Fish and Survive

Our Fish and Survive program is designed to change behaviour and promote fishing safety through communications and public awareness initiatives while facilitating the installation of life-saving devices at high-risk fishing locations across WA.

Click here to see Safety Equipment installed through the Western Australia Safety Strategy

The Fish and Survive website and supporting Facebook page promotes safe fishing and give you the tools, information and safety equipment you need to ensure you return home safe after a days fishing. It also influences the fishing community to change their behaviours and attitudes towards wearing lifejackets. Recfishwest is providing an avenue for people to purchase slim fitting, comfortable life jackets at an affordable price, to help ensure more people wear life jackets and return home safe!

VISIT FISH AND SURVIVE HERE

FREE Lifejacket Loan Program

Recfishwest, along with community partners and tackle shops provide the WA fishing community with Free Loan Lifejackets, where rock fishers can head into their local regional tackle shop and hire a lifejacket for free for the day. This is a service that we believe help bring fishers home safe. This has been made possible with the support from local communities and International Safety Experts, Survitec.

The jackets that are available for hire are User Activated jackets that require the user to pull the ‘inflate’ toggle when they enter the water.

If you notice your jacket is damaged, or you’ve had to inflate it, please return it to store owner and let them know and we can replace it.

Click here to see where you can hire a lifejacket or view the list below:

Albany

Albany Rods and Tackle

Trailblazers Albany

BCF Albany

Little Grove General Store

Albany Migrant Resource Centre

Bremer Bay

Bremer Bay Rural & Hardware

Duke of Orleans 

Duke of Orleans Caravan Park

Esperance 

Tatey’s Bait and Tackle

Southern Sports and Tackle

Esperance Diving and Fishing

Dempster Sporting and Tackle

Hopetoun

Hopetoun Iceworks

Kalbarri

Kalbarri Sports and Dive

Katanning

Katanning Migrant Resource Centre

Mount Barker

United Petroleum

South West

Augusta X-Treme Outdoor Sports

Down South Camping & Outdoors

Dunsborough Outdoor Sportz

Access Fishing

Steep Point

Steep Point Rangers Station

Quobba/Carnarvon

Quobba Station

Carnarvon Tackle & Marine

Tel-O-Mac Tackle

 

Keep the Sand between your Toes - Easter Salmon Fishing Campaign

Salmon underpin one of Western Australia’s most valuable fishing opportunities. Every year tens of thousands of Western Australian families eagerly await the annual run of these amazing sport fish.  These fish are readily accessible to fishers of all ability as schools of fish hug the coastline throughout the autumn migration. Each season, the lure of catching a salmon attracts new participants to the sport, with an expectation to experience an exhilarating catch; especially in the last few seasons where high abundance of salmon have provided great fishing.

Fishing for salmon is an experience in itself, whether you catch and keep your fish, or release them after the fight, just to be able to bring your fish onto the sand, and take some snaps with the kids is something that is ingrained in West Australian culture. Beach fishing provides for a safe and enjoyable form of fishing for families, where kids have the opportunity of fighting a big fish and catching their first salmon.

The Easter Salmon Fishing Campaign focuses primarily on people catching salmon from our beaches as we believe the pristine white sandy beaches of WA coast combined with the splendid sports fishing qualities of this species truly makes this the world’s best fishing on the world’s best beaches.

Every year, the ‘Keep the sand between your toes’ campaign involves the distribution of 10,000 flyers to all tackle stores between Busselton and Esperance, the promotion of key messages through social media partnerships, articles, newsletters, advertising and media. It includes translated articles hosted on multi-lingual platforms and various radio interviews throughout the entire salmon season.

The annual salmon run attracts thousands of fishers to the southern parts of the state and in the past has resulted in various rock fishing fatalities as people put the fish first, before their own personal safety in all the excitement.

Abalone Safety Campaign

Undertaken with Surf Life Saving WA and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, the abalone safety campaigns specifically targets abalone fishers to ensure they return home safe after a days fishing. The campaign includes advertising, editorials, translated articles, safety flyers, various radio interviews, media releases, media events as well as signage and the presence of Surf Life Savers at key fishing locations.

An abalone safety website also plays a prevalent role in the campaign.

 

Spearfishing videos

Nothing beats a day on the water, except, maybe a day under the water. But shallow water blackouts are something everyone needs to be aware of, and whether it’s spearfishing, free diving or snorkelling, shallow water black-outs can happen to anyone at any depth. So if you’re just starting out, or a world-champ spearo, shallow water blackouts are a danger you and your dive buddy need to be prepared for.

There’s no one that knows this better than the members from The Australian Underwater Federation (AUF) who have seen far too many divers lost to black-out (one is too many), while others have been injured from boat strikes, marine attacks and other causes. That’s why the AUF has been working hard to create a number of safety videos aimed to educate and raise awareness among the fishing community about shallow water black-outs.

The videos encourage you to think about and be prepared for:

  • What symptoms to look for with blackouts
  • Knowing your buddy’s dive profile
  • Performing a shallow water black-out rescue

These videos have the potential to save lives and greatly reduce the number of injuries and fatalities associated with these breath-holding activities.

With an increased number of people in the water, especially as we head into summer, with fishers diving for crays, snorkelling our beautiful reefs and preparing for abalone season, now is the time to educate yourself and help raise awareness among your mates about shallow water black-outs. Share these videos with your friends and help ensure we all come home safe from a day on the water.

For more on spearfishing safety, visit Fish and Survive.

These videos have been created with the assistance of a Recfishwest Community Grant.

Click here to find out more about Recfishwest Community Grants.

Angel Rings

We believe everyone in WA should return home safe after spending a day out fishing. At Recfishwest, our service to the community is to lead a statewide approach that develops and promotes initiatives that bring fishers home safe. The Angel Ring Program is an important part of our State Wide Fishing Safety Program.

Angel Rings are life buoys, which are designed to keep someone afloat and away from the rocks until help arrives or a rescue can be organised. Angel Rings are vital pieces of public safety equipment and should not be tampered with or removed unless being used in a rescue.

With the help and support of local communities, local land managers, local shires and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, more and more Angel Rings are being installed state-wide at high risk rock fishing locations.

There are now 70 Angel rings installed around Western Australia. Click here to view the map or view the list below:

If you know of a rock fishing location that could do with an Angel Ring, let Recfishwest know at info@recfishwest.org.au.

Location

Angel rings

Albany
Salmon Holes 2
The Deeps 1
Lowlands 1
Tourist Rock at Cheynes Beach 1
Three Stripes at Cheynes Beach 1
Maitraya, Nannarup Beach 1
Cable Beach, Torndirrup National Park 1
 Blow Holes, Torndirrup National Park 1
The Steps, West Cape Howe 1
Dunksy’s, West Cape Howe 1
Denmark
Flat Rocks Ocean Beach 1
McGearys Rock 1
Black Hole 1
Sinker Bay 1
Boat Harbour 1
Dirt Hartog Island 
Quion Head 1
Urchin Point 1
West Point 1
Esperance
Twilight Beach 2
Wharton Beach 1
Quagi Beach 2
Starvation Bay 2
  Thistle Cove 1
Hellfire Bay 1
Thomas River 1
Dolphin Cove 1
Skippy Rocks 1
Dunns Rocks 1
Munglingup Beach 1
Masons Point 1
2 Mile Beach Hopetoun 1
Hopetoun Groyne 1
Kalbarri
Red Bluff 1
Pot Alley (+1 old Angel Ring, installed prior to program) 1
Gulch 2
Southwest
The Point (Contos) 1
Slopeys (Contos) 1
Merchant Rock (Contos) 1
Boranup (North Point) 1
Redgate 1
Contos spring 1
Gracetown North Rocks (North Point) 1
Sugarloaf Rock 1
Skippy Rock 1
Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse 2
Cape Leeuwin Water Wheel 1
Canal Rocks 1
Torpedo Rocks 1
Wyadup 1
Round Rock 1
Knobby Head 1
Cosy Corner 1
Steep Point 3
Quobba
Blowholes – Quobba 1
Old Boundary – Quobba 1
Loopy’s 1
High Rock 1
2 Mile 1
Whistling Rock 1
The Ledge 1
Camp Rock 1
The Caves 1

Rock Anchor Points

Anchor points have been trialed and installed at selected high risk rock fishing locations, mainly throughout the South West and South Coast of Western Australia.

The Department of Parks and Wildlife, along with Local Government, and community groups, community champions and volunteers have installed rock anchor points:

  • Salmon Holes in Albany, has 6 rock anchor points installed.
  • Esperance at Wharton Beach (3), Quagi Beach (3), Thistle Cove (9), Hellfire Bay (4), Thomas River (4), Dolphin Cove (3), Dunn Rock (4), Salmon Beach (7), Chapmans Point (7), Wiley Bay (5).
  • South West in Leeuwin – Naturalise National Park including: Rocky Point, Cape Naturaliste, Sugarloaf Rock, Torpedo Rocks, Wyadup, Contos, Boranup (North-Point) and Skippy Rock.

To tie up to an anchor point you will need about 10m of rope (length varies depending on site). Use this to tie a bowline knot at the anchor point and check the knot is secure by pulling it.

Using the other end of the rope attach it to a harness or wrap around the waist and secure. Avoid slack in the rope when fishing as waves can still wash you off your feet and onto the rocks.

Click here for an information sheet on anchor points in the south west region

Key Messages for Rock Fishing Safety

Rock Fishing

Public awareness, promotion and education are of vital importance to reducing rock fishing incidences. If the right precautions are followed, fishing from rocks can be a safe activity but with some of the world’s best beaches here in WA, Recfishwest recommends getting the sand between your toes and fishing from the beach.

Key Messages for Rock Fishing Safety

  • Always tell someone where you’re going, when you’ll be back and if your plans change.
  • Never fish alone
  • Wear the right clothes – Light clothing such as shorts and a spray jacket will allow you to swim more freely if you are washed in. Waders and jumpers are not recommended.
  • Wear appropriate footwear with non-slip soles or cleats suited to the surface you plan to fish from.
  • Know the area, know the local conditions
  • Observe first, fish later – Spend time (at least 20 minutes) watching your intended fishing spot to get an idea of the conditions over a full swell/wave cycle. Be prepared for waves twice the height of those observed during this period. If in doubt, don’t fish.
  • Read all safety signage – it’s been placed there for a reason.
  • Wear a PFD – Wear a life jacket or buoyancy vest at all times. Also bring something buoyant (your fishing bucket with its lid firmly clipped on makes a great float) which can be thrown to someone in trouble to help them stay afloat. Carry rope and a torch at all times.
  • Plan your escape – Scan the area and look for the safest place to come ashore should you be swept in. Decide on a quick getaway route from your fishing spot, well above the high tide line should you see a large wave coming.
  • Use appropriate Public Safety Equipment – Know how to correctly utilise rock anchor points if they are in place at your fishing location. You will need to bring your own rope to tie up; a bowline is the best knot to use. Know where the nearest public safety equipment is – and know how to use it.
  • Stay alert – Don’t ever turn your back on the ocean – if the waves, weather or swell threaten your fishing spot then leave immediately.

Click here to view the Rock Fishing Safety Key Messages in a one pager.

For different languages see below:

要观看矶钓安全与中文字幕视频,请点击此处

한국어 자막 바위 낚시 안전 비디오를 시청하려면 여기를 클릭하십시오

Để xem một tảng đá hình an toàn cá với phụ đề tiếng việt, nhấn vào đây

Rock Fishing Safety Videos

Don’t Put Your Life on the Line

Chinese Subtitles: (中国的)

Korean Subtitles: (한국의)

Vietnamese Subtitles: (Việt)

Buy a Lifejacket

The Crewfit 165N Sport uses the latest 3D technology, ensuring maximum comfort levels for all users. The Crewfit 165N Sport has the essential features to ensure the recreational user remains safe when out on the water. The slimline, lightweight jacket ensures you can carry out important fishing tasks like casting, pulling your lobster pots, pulling the anchor rope and reeling in that fish of a lifetime.

We believe these are the best jacket for the complete fisher and we wouldn’t sell them if we didn’t believe these were the best jacket on the market to bring you and your family home safe.

Fish and Survive now stock the new Crewsaver life jackets ‘the Rolls Royce of Lifejackets’. Check them out here.

Gone are the days of stuffing the old yellow foam jackets under the seat or taking up room on the boat; or if you go in the drink while fishing from rocks; or roll your kayak in fast flowing water – these Crewsaver’s are designed to be worn in case an emergency in upon you quicker than expected!

As a not for profit organisation, proceeds from jacket sales goes back into better fishing in Western Australia and allows us to keep working to bring you and our family home safe after a day on the water.

“The days of stuffing your old foam yellow life jacket under the boat seat are gone. We want people wearing life jackets and I believe these slimline fitting jackets are the best available.”

Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland

 

Our Fishing Safety Ambassadors

Simon McLernon

Perth
Simon McLernon is an avid diver and has been a fisher his entire life. Over the past decade he has been working in a variety of different industries including ship building and subsea engineering and he now works as a Subsea engineer at BHGE. Over 3 years Simon has been volunteering his engineering skills in designing and manufacturing the Bluewater Safety Float which is designed to help increase safety for divers and other boat users. He continues to promote diver safety across his social media and amongst his networks including the Bluewater Freedivers of WA Club, of which he is a member.

Brody Laroux

Perth
Brody is Recfishwest’s safety ambassador for crayfishing and currently works for Highland Spirit Charters. With many years of experience in the industry, Brody always portrays positive ways of working on the water, including fish handling and catch care techniques. As a lover of the ocean, and all things fishing, Brody makes an ideal ambassador for all things safety.

Chris & Aaron Dixon

Albany
Based in Albany, Chris and Aaron Dixon are brothers with a passion for rock fishing. They actively promote safe fishing from the rocks and the importance of always wearing a lifejacket, across their ever growing social media platforms (currently at 3300 followers on Facebook). They write for Western Angler Magazine and have also starred in various episodes of iFish alongside TV presenter Paul Worsteling.

Graham Cooper

Esperance
Not only is Graham an avid fisher, but he has volunteered for the Esperance Volunteer Marine Rescue for 21 years. Graham has also played a huge role in the fishing safety space by educating almost 10,000 school students on the south coast about fishing safety over the last decade. Graham has also been instrumental in leading fishing safety initiatives in Esperance, Ravensthorpe and Hopeton by pushing for public safety equipment, such as Angel Rings and Rock Anchor Points, to be installed at high risk fishing locations along the south coast. Graham is also a Recfishwest lifejacket ambassador for our Fish and Survive campaigns.

Scott Coghlan

Albany
Scott is based in Albany and is a big advocate for Fish and Survive and the importance of wearing slimline lifejackets. He consistently communicates safety to a range of audiences across Social Media, Western Angler Magazine, Sunday Times, the West Australian and in face to face activities. Groups of influence include beginner to avid fishers of varying ages across Western Australia. Scott plays a key role in our annual fishing safety campaigns.

Robbie Riches

Perth
Robbie runs Perth Fishing Safaris, a local Perth business offering guided rock and beach fishing tours for small groups of fishers chasing mulloway, tailor and more. He is a strong lifejacket advocate across his social media platforms and continually promotes the importance of safety when fishing with all his clients. He’s been an advocate on Channel 10’s Offroad Adventure Show and his land-based fishing business is growing and expanding to include rock fishing safety in the northern and southern regions. He influences school aged children right through to the elderly, teaching people from various demographics and locations across the world.

Allan Bevan

Fremantle
Allan is an active member of the Western Australian Fishing community who is passionate about fisher safety, catch care and preservation of fish stocks for future generations. As a fishing Charter Operator in Fremantle, he takes pride in ensuring people make good decisions in all facets of fishing. Allan influences tourists and locals of varying ages and demographics.

Li Chen

Perth
Li Chen is an Edith Cowan University Researcher who strives hard to ensure we have a safe and sustainable fishing environment in WA. She recently investigated the interaction between Chinese immigrants and the Western Australian environment through the practice of abalone harvesting. Li believes by understanding people’s motivations towards abalone fishing, it will help bring people home safe and make them aware of the importance of environmental protection. Li brings knowledge, passion and experience to the Recfishwest Safety Ambassador Team and we look forward to her contribution in annual abalone safety education campaigns.

Juli-Ann and Vince Brozek

All over Australia
Equipped with an off road camper and everything needed for a life on the road, the family from Moseying around Australia are creating memories while catching prized fish as they travel Aus. The parents strive to pass their fishing knowledge onto their two young children while making sure safety is always incorporated into their fishing experiences. Whether that’s wearing a lifejacket when fishing alone, or being croc smart, safety is always an element for this fishing family. The family joins our team as key role models no matter where in state they travel. Welcome aboard guys!

Peter Fullarton

Lancelin
Peter Fullarton runs a landbased fishing tour business called ‘Tailored Treks’ in Lancelin. He teaches fishers 4x4 beach safety and is a great representative for safe fishing from the beach taking into consideration all the elements. When he’s not busy working, Pete often fishes alone from his tinny, targeting species such as tailor, skippy, squid and tuna. Pete says ‘it can be so easy to fall out of a small boat, I am always very careful especially when I am on my own and I make my crew wear a lifejacket if it is rough. I really don’t know why more people don’t wear them, once you put it on you just forget you are even wearing one.

Recfishwest’s safety partnerships include Department of Parks and Wildlife, Department of Fire and Emergency Services, Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, Surf Life Saving Western Australia, Royal Life Saving Society Western Australia, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and local fishing communities.