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Recognised as the most dangerous coastal recreational activity in WA, fishers are being urged to exercise caution ahead of this Saturday’s West Coast Zone abalone season opener, with five fatalities recorded during the 4-hour fishing periods since 2012.

Surf Life Saving WA General Manager Lifesaving, Chris Peck says fishers should remain mindful of the inherent dangers of the activity and take appropriate steps to ensure their personal safety.

“Despite no fatalities in the West Coast Zone last season, our lifesavers still performed 15 rescues and administered 35 cases of first aid during the four-hour 2019/20 season,” said Mr Peck.

“There are several measures that fishers can put in place to not only enhance the potential to maximise their catch but also to give them the best chance of returning to their family.

“This includes assessing the conditions of the day and their chosen location against their abilities and to not rely solely on Surf Life Saving services for their safety.”

Surf Life Saving WA will continue to deliver a range of safety services including jet ski, inflatable rescue boat and beach-based patrols across select locations within the zone; however, the message to fishers is to put personal safety and that of friends, family and fellow fishers ahead of their catch.

“We encourage fishers to seek out a location patrolled by our services; to stay in a group and keep an eye on mates and other fishers, and to wear and carry appropriate gear that will not only help maximise their catch but also their safety,” said Mr Peck.

Abalone fishing in the West Coast Zone is permitted between 7:00 am – 8:00 am on the following dates:

  • Saturday, 12 December 2020
  • Saturday, 9 January 2021
  • Saturday, 23 January 2021
  • Saturday, 6 February 2021
  • Saturday, 20 February 2021

Further abalone fishing location, safety information and resources, including areas where Surf Life Saving WA services will be patrolling, can be found at

In 2019/20 Surf Life Saving WA received a $300,000 Abalone Fisher Safety grant through the WA Government’s Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund, to be applied to initiatives across the areas of prevention, rescue, education, research and regulation.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Minda Penn, Marketing & Partnerships Coordinator | E: | P: 9207 6666