Kalbarri Fishing Club Making Safety Happen

The Kalbarri Offshore and Angling Club, along with community partners and the Department of Parks and Wildlife are doing their bit to keep fishers safe around the coast of Kalbarri.
A renown rock fishing location, the cliffs of Kalbarri present huge challenges for both beginners and experienced fishers. Although quality fish can be caught from the Kalbarri cliffs, the dangers that come with fishing here outweigh any fish.

Recfishwest provided 5 Angel Rings to the Kalbarri Offshore and Angling Club and DPaW to install at designated high-risk fishing locations, and with no hesitations installed the rings to ensure fishers are kept as safe as possible when rock fishing.

As reported in our last Broad Cast, Kalbarri Sports and Dive tackle shop are now a Free Life Jacket Loan location with 5 jackets available to hire for anyone going rock fishing in an extension of the state wide Life Jacket Loan scheme bringing the number of locations to 19. Recfishwest is thrilled with the efforts of the local fishing club, the tackle shop and community partners and shows they care about public safety and willing to help at all costs.

Kalbarri Angling and Offshore Fishing Club President Cheryl Eley said fishing is such an important recreation for locals and tourists here, that installing safety equipment on the rocks was essential to keeping fishers safe.

“We’re not experts in safety, but any safety initiative that involves the local community and strives to keep people safe, is a win win for the fishing club and the Kalbarri community” Cheryl said.

“We’re proud to be a part of the rock fishing safety initiative and the club guys who installed the rings deserve a huge pat on the back.”

“We had a local go in off the rocks over the Christmas period and one of the existing Angel Rings was used to save his life. That’s proof these devices work and we’re happy to have new ones installed in case someone else goes in.”

With the recent success of the Kalbarri Sports Classic and the huge influx of tourists during the holiday season, these safety initiatives couldn’t have come at a better time.

Easter Campaign a Safety Success

Once again this year, Albany’s popular Salmon Holes was the scene of a fantastic rock fishing safety initiative over Easter, with the Albany Offshore Boating and Fishing Club coordinating a safety stand at the popular fishing location.  This year’s stand was an unprecedented success, offering fishers the chance to borrow life jackets (PFDs) for free and enabling volunteers to pass on the crucial messages regarding rock fishing safety to many inexperienced anglers.

In previous years there has been a general reluctance to take the PFDs, which are also available to loan for free from retail outlets across the state, but the rock fishing safety message appears to be getting through and this year fishers were actually queuing up to receive them.

It was the first time in two years all the lifejackets had ever been loaned out. Organisers, including members of the AOBFC, were delighted with the unprecedented response from recreational fishers.
At the end of the weekend, the life jackets were donated to local migrant resource centres.

The stand was also supported by Recfishwest, with staff in attendance over the weekend, the Department of Parks and Wildlife, which controlled parking and limited visitor numbers when necessary at the Salmon Holes.

There were a couple of near misses over the Easter weekend but fortunately there were no fatalities.  Special mention needs to be made of local youngster Cowan Wise, who manned the stand across the entire four days and did a tremendous job of spreading the rock fishing safety message and assisting recreational fishers.

To purchase a life jacket, visit the fish and survive website.
We strongly recommend anyone going salmon fishing to fish from the beach and keep the sand between your toes.

Albany to get 10 New Angel Rings

In another major step towards safeguarding the lives of recreational fishers, 10 new Angel Rings will soon be installed at popular rock fishing locations around Albany.
Rock fishing is a very dangerous pastime and many lives have been lost, not just along the south coast but all along the WA coastline.

Prevention is the best cure and there are many steps rock fishers can take to ensure their safety, and tips on these can be found at www.fishandsurvive.org.au
However, Angel Rings are life buoys which can be thrown to anyone who unfortunately finds themselves in the water, and greatly increase the chance to survival until rescue in that scenario.

Recfishwest, with the help of community partners, are helping get Angel Rings placed at a number of key rock fishing locations around WA.
Spots close to Albany where new Angel Rings are soon to be installed are The Deeps, Lowland, Cable Beach, Blow Holes, The Steps, Tourist Rock at Cheynes Beach, Three Stripes at Cheynes Beach, Dunsky’s and Maitraya.

There were already Angel Rings in place at the Salmon Holes, and they have also been installed at locations around Kalbarri and Esperance recently with Denmark’s rings not too far away from being installed.  The latest installations in Albany have been driven by the Department of Parks and Wildlife and the City of Albany.  The City of Albany’s Cameron Woods welcomed the installations as a great community asset.

“The installations are an important part of the mix to keep local residents and our visitors safe whilst enjoying our amazing coastal environments,” he said.

“The installations combined with signage and an education awareness campaign is designed to reduce the loss of life and the associated impact this has on families and communities.”

Local rock fishing safety advocate Andrew Jarvis welcomed the news.

“I am very pleased to have been part of the group that has organised to get the Angel Rings in place and it is good to see different government departments working together,” he said.

“I believe Peter Hartley, the district manager from DPaW, has been the primary driver behind the push on rock fishing safety and he deserves a big pat on the back for his efforts.”

With our state government 3-year rock fishing safety funding coming to a close, Recfishwest will be pushing to receive another round of funding to keep fishers safe in WA and incite behaviour change within our communities.

Catch Salmon and Return Home this Easter

Catch Salmon and Return Home Safe this Easter

With the Easter long weekend approaching, Recfishwest are reminding people to take personal responsibility and stay safe when fishing this salmon season.  Recfishwest Chief Executive Officer Dr Andrew Rowland said locations such as Albany and Esperance welcome a large population increase during the Easter period for the great salmon run on their annual migration around the West Australian coast.

“Salmon are a superb sports fish, however, it’s not worth putting your life at risk when the salmon turn up” Dr Rowland said.

South coast locations popular with salmon fishes often see unpredictable weather and large swells which can make fishing from the rocks dangerous.

“The excitement of a good salmon run often sees people overlook simple steps that ensure their safety, as they rush to go fishing from the rocks unprepared.”
“For those fishing this Easter, Recfishwest strongly recommends fishing from the beach.’’ Dr Rowland said.

Local Albany fishermen and well respected fishing safety advocate Andrew Jarvis urges people to stay off the rocks.

‘’We simply do not want anymore more deaths. If you must fish from the rocks make sure you are prepared.”

Dr Rowland praised the tireless work by community groups, volunteers and state and local governments to make fishers safe, especially on the south coast.

“The work that has been done in Esperance, Albany and surrounds, which are our most high risk locations, to make people safe is enormous and a big thank you to the people making people aware of safe fishing practices in the those areas” Dr Rowland said.

Recfishwest continues to promote and support the Free Loan Life Jacket Scheme in 20 tackle stores around the state, where fishers can go in and hire a free life jacket before the head out fishing.
“If the right precautions are followed, fishing from the rocks can be a safe activity.’’ Dr Rowland said.

If you must fish from the rocks, Recfishwest wants fishers to understand the simple rock fishing safety messages:
• Know how to swim
• Wear a life jacket
• Never fish alone
• Observe first, fish later
• Wear appropriate clothing and footwear
• Be familiar with public safety equipment
• Tell someone your plans.