Rock fishers will have access to more safety measures than ever before, with the NSW Government partnering with Surf Life Saving NSW to reduce the number of fatalities and injuries on our coastline.
The NSW Recreational Fishing Fund will invest $205,000 into a new Rock Fishing Safety and Skills program, which will be delivered by Surf Life Saving NSW.
Minister for Agriculture Dugald Saunders said the funding will see 1,000 life jackets deployed to at-risk coastal communities.
“Life jackets are a no-brainer, they save lives,” Mr Saunders said.
“Hundreds of volunteers work tirelessly every day to look after our swimmers, surfers and fishers, and now we are giving them a helping hand by ramping up safety measures for rock fishing.
“I am thrilled to work with Surf Life Saving NSW to ensure our rock fishers feel supported and protected when they engage in this activity.”
Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said the NSW Government’s partnership with Surf Life Saving NSW is more important than ever before.
“We have seen far too many tragic deaths and near misses involving rock fishers this year which is why we are rolling out the largest ever rock fishing safety campaign in our State’s history,” Ms Cooke said.
Minister for Local Government Wendy Tuckerman said the NSW Government and councils are also working together to reduce the risks.
“I’m pleased to see councils like the City of Randwick, as well as Surf Life Saving NSW, are partnering with the NSW Government to implement mandatory life jacket use in designated high risk zones, and to promote educational programs to improve personal safety,” Mrs Tuckerman said.
CEO of Surf Life Saving NSW Steven Pearce said the funding will help to save lives.
“We congratulate the NSW Government for supporting our efforts to reduce rock fishing tragedies. Our volunteers see first-hand the traumatic outcomes from these incidents and how simple things like wearing a lifejacket can prevent deaths,” Mr Pearce said.
The funding for this project is part of the NSW Government’s recent $6 million boost to the Recreational Fishing Grants program, which facilitates the development of new amenities, species protection programs and research and education across NSW.