It is common knowledge that the WA coast can be unforgiving. In our State alone we have lost 27 people from rock fishing incidents since 2002, an alarmingly high number for our beloved past time. This is a strong reminder that fishers must always consider the dangers when fishing along our coast. Continue reading “Community heroes keeping fishers safe in the Gascoyne”→
With the saddening news of the latest rock fishing fatality at Quobba, Recfishwest is appealing to rock fishers to fish safely, especially during the Winter months.
Our condolences are with the man’s family, who tragically lost his life while fishing from Quobba’s High Rock, after being swept in on August 13.
Quobba can produce some great land based fishing opportunities, but the risk to you, your friends and family is very high. With vertical cliffs, jagged sharp rocks and big swell, Quobba fishing should only be attempted by people with the right gear and are experienced rock fishers.
Recfishwest has been working with the owners of Quobba Station over the past few months who have recently installed new Angel Rings (Life Rings) at high risk fishing locations along the Quobba coast. We understand that one of the Angel Rings was thrown in a rescue attempt during the incident.
Locations of the Nine Angel Rings recently installed at Quobba are:
Angel Rings are not the only safety equipment that can be used at Quobba to ensure you return home safe. Quobba Stationis a location for Recfishwest’s FREE Life Jacket Loan Scheme, where FREE compact fishing life jackets can be loaned for rock fishers. FREE life jackets can also be loaned from Carnarvon Tackle and Marine, and Tel-O-Mac Tackle (Carnarvon).
Some time ago, passionate and safe rock fishers, also installed rock anchor points into the cliffs at Quobba, adding an additional option for rock fishers to tie themselves onto.
Knowing winter serves up rougher weather conditions (particularly on the West Coast), it is a strong reminder that fishers must always consider the dangers when fishing along our coast.
Recfishwest Fishing Safety Officer Bronte Nardi said a lot of people in the WA (and Australian) community are working tirelessly to keep rock fishers safe, now it’s time for rock fishers to help by minimising the risk of them going in the water.
“Over 150 FREE Life Jackets can loaned from a lot WA tackle shops, Angel Rings are being installed by land managers at high risk fishing locations, fishing safety awareness material are being produced – now we need people who fish from rocks to eliminate
the risks, prepare accordingly and return home safe,” Ms Nardi appealed.
“It’s never nice hearing the news of a missing fisher, and the feeling was definitely echoed through the community, as the majority of people understand the dangers of rock fishing,” Ms Nardi said.
“Recfishwest are once again stressing the importance of taking personal responsibility of your own safety while fishing, by observing conditions and using appropriate safety equipment.”
If you must fish from the rocks, please follow these simple fishing safety messages:
• Know how to swim
• Wear a life jacket
• Never fish alone
• Observe first, fish later
• Use appropriate safety equipment
• Tell someone your plans
Recfishwest is a key stakeholder and is represented on the Department of Transport’s External Reference Group which provides input from all the relevant water using sectors, including recreational fishing.
One topic that is being widely discussed is the consideration for the mandatory wearing of life jackets on recreational vessels.
Please see below our position on the issue of the mandatory wearing of life jackets on recreational vessels:
We encourage and promote safe fishing experiences for all and equip fishers with the knowledge so they can make their own decision to fish or not to fish (as we do for rock fishing), and we believe this needs to be applied to vessel safety
We support increased education campaigns towards vessel owners, of the risks associated with their safety, it’s important that people have good knowledge to make their own informed decisions in specific situations
We do not support a blanket approach to make the wearing of life jackets on a boat mandatory
– Fishing in WA offers a large variety of boat and kayak fishing opportunities and simply having one strict rule covering all those situations is not something we support
– Where there’s evidence and statistics to support the wearing of life jackets in high-risk situations such as boat fishing at night or by yourself, like some other states, we would consider this approach instead
– We believe safety comes down to the individual and personal responsibility is the key factor
We believe educating boat fishers on the advancement of life jacket technology is important. There are some great slim fitting, compact life jackets that are designed to be worn on the market now, and for a really reasonable price. Educating the boating public and empowering them to make their own choices is a better approach than making it compulsory
Recfishwest works hard to promote safety and we want to see all fishers return home safe at the end of a day’s fishing.
If you’d like to have your say, please visit the Department of Transport’s survey here.