A wetsuit will make it easier to move through the water, it is light and will help you float. Choose a
long sleeve and long pant wetsuit to keep you warm, and protect you from the reef.
Other clothing, such as tracksuits, jackets or other baggy clothing, may keep you warm but will
become heavy when wet. Even if you do not plan on swimming, always wear light clothing in case
your slip or are swept into the water by a wave.
If you cannot swim, wear a lifejacket. Even if you are only fishing from the reef, you can accidentally
slip or fall into the ocean, a lifejacket will make sure you stay afloat while someone comes to rescue
Wearing gloves will prevent cuts and bruises when removing abalone from the reef.
Lightweight reef shoes are best to protect your feet when walking on the reef. Other shoes or boots are heavy and difficult to swim in; they will also pull you under if you slip or are swept off the reef by a wave.
Before you leave home check the conditions of your fishing zone on mybeach.com.au. If there are strong winds or large swell, choose another, safer day. Bad weather and large swell will not only reduce your visibility, making it harder to find your abalone, but it will increase your risk of drowning and injury.
The wind and swell conditions can change rapidly so when you get to the beach, check the ocean conditions again. If you are unsure how to read the ocean, ask a lifesaver. If you are in doubt, or cannot swim - do not go in.
Never go fishing alone. Always head to the beach with a friend or group. When you are in the water always look out for each other and check the conditions.
Always choose a location where there are lifesavers on patrol, they will be dressed in red and yellow.
When you are in the water, make sure they can always see you, and raise your arm to attract attention if you need assistance.
Check your phone for important SMS and email updates. If poor weather conditions are forecast, the fishery will be closed. Follow SLSWA on Twitter for live beach safety information and check your beach at mybeach.com.au before you go fishing.
Abalone Measuring Gauge
Across the four hours of abalone fishing in 2022/23, SLSWA services performed
For the best catch, gear up and plan ahead.
Watch our safety video to find out how you can make the most of the short season.
SLSWA delivers a range of initiatives to sustain abalone fishing safety in WA. These initiatives are made possible by the WA Government’s Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund.
For more information on Abalone Fishing in WA, download the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Abalone Recreational Fishing Guide 2023/24.