Randwick rock fishers reminded to wear lifejackets from June 1

To date, the Rock Fishing Safety Act only applies to the Randwick City coastline, however other coastal councils can elect to opt-in to the legislation (image: Mick Fletoridis).

PEOPLE rock fishing in the Randwick City area are being reminded to wear an appropriate lifejacket or risk a $100 on the spot fine from June 1, 2018.

The law applies to adults and children fishing the popular but deadly coastal stretch including Clovelly, Coogee, Maroubra, Malabar, Little Bay and La Perouse.

The move follows an 18-month trial period of the Rock Fishing Safety Act 2016 (RFSA) and moratorium on fines which ends on May 31, 2018. 

Eighteen people have died rock fishing in Randwick City in the past decade or so making this stretch of coastline the most treacherous in the country for rock fishers.

Randwick Mayor Lindsay Shurey said the latest move is about improving safety. “Every one of these deaths touches our community. All 18 in the past decade have been men – dads, brothers, husbands and sons. It devastates the family and affects those emergency service personnel tasked with searching and retrieving.

“Lifejackets should be part of every rock fisher’s toolkit along with appropriate footwear such as cleats and light clothing as well as checking the weather, swell and tide prior to fishing.

“Randwick Council has been proactive in working with the rock fishing community and NSW Government over many years to improve safety and we commend the current efforts by the Recreational Fishing Alliance, Department of Justice, Office of Emergency Services and Department of Primary Industries.

“We’ve been approached by fishing advocates requesting consideration be given to permitting fishers to wear a wider range of life vests.

“In response, the NSW Government is currently conducting a review of international standards to identify other life vests or wetsuits that meet the same quality and performance standards set under Australian Standards. Council welcomes this review and will work with the Government as required,” Mayor Shurey said.

The Rock Fishing Safety Act is being enforced by NSW Marine Area Command Police, Council Rangers, Fisheries Officers and National Parks & Wildlife.

To date, the Rock Fishing Safety Act only applies to the Randwick City coastline, however other coastal councils can elect to opt-in to the legislation.

More information (links):

Rock fishing safety tips factsheet:

Rock Fishing Safety Act 2016 factsheet:

Rock fishing safety tips:

  • Wear a life jacket
  • Never fish by yourself
  • Inform others of your plans
  • Wear light clothing
  • Wear appropriate footwear (eg cleats
  • Carry safety gear
  • Fish only in places you know are safe and never fish in exposed areas during rough or large seas
  • Observe first, fish later
  • Plan an escape route in case you are washed in
  • Stay alert
  • Ask for advice from locals who know the area
  • No fish is worth your life – if it looks risky, don’t fish it!

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