Mandatory lifejackets rejected by rec fishing groups

A PUSH for rock fishers to be required to wear lifejackets has been rejected by recreational fishing groups.

A possible move to the compulsory wearing of lifejackets when rock fishing, comes after a coronial inquest into 12 rock fishing related deaths in NSW from 2009-2010. The inquest, which concluded last week, has recommended that the state government investigate personal flotation devices in a bid to consider making them mandatory for rock fishing.

In relation to the 12 deaths, Coroner Mark Buscombe said there were common factors in all cases including: all victims were born overseas; most were of Asian descent; none wore a lifejacket, and most accidents occurred at night.

“They also have occurred when the sea conditions have been particularly dangerous, highlighting the need for people to check and obey weather warnings” Buscombe said. 

He recommended the government consider more funding for rock fishing safety awareness campaigns, particularly aimed at non-English speaking fishers. 

The chairman of the Recreational Fishing Alliance of NSW – an organisation that has long strived for additional funding to continue its volunteer safety work including Angel Ring projects and educating non-English speaking anglers – Malcolm Poole, said in the Daily Telegraph, introducing and enforcing compulsory lifejackets would be “complicated”.  

“Our position is to support fishing safety, but it’s not up to recreational fishermen to mandate the use of lifejackets”, he said. 

Vice-President of Australian National Sportsfishing Association of NSW, John Burgess, has also been reported as saying that while he supported most of the recommendations, lifejackets should remain voluntary.      

What's your reaction?

Related Posts

Load More Posts Loading...No More Posts.