The first of the west coast zone abalone fishing sessions kicked off on Saturday and saw thousands of fishers descend upon onshore reefs to collect their quota of the popular delicacy in the one-hour fishing period.
Warm weather and near ideal conditions saw surf life saving services perform two rescues; two first aids; and 42 preventative actions, a positive outcome for the inherently dangerous activity which has claimed 5 lives since 2012.
Surf Life Saving WA General Manager Chris Peck has commended the volunteers from local surf life saving clubs which saw nearly 120 individuals from 14 clubs deliver a range of services including on-beach, inflatable rescue boat (IRB), Wesfarmers Jet Ski, and drone patrols, with additional assistance from the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter.
“This is not an area of responsibility that falls under our standard club patrols, so the fact that we have so many people willing to put up their hands & volunteer their time and energy for the safety of these fishers is to be commended,” said Mr Peck.
While conditions on the weekend were favourable, we know that this is not the only factor that contributes to the safety of the activity and we urge fishers to continue to be diligent across a range of factors including choosing appropriate attire, equipment and fishing location”.
“With around 11km of coastline within the fishing zone covered by these patrol services, we encourage people to fish at locations within these patrolled areas to increase their chances of receiving assistance should they get into trouble,” said Mr Peck.
Surf Life Saving WA would like to extend a sincere thanks to the five host-clubs of Secret Harbour, Sorrento, Mullaloo, Quinns-Mindarie, and Yanchep, which dedicated extensive time and resources before, during and after abalone patrol to enable seamless service delivery.
We are also hugely appreciative of the support from other clubs within the metropolitan area who committed lifesavers and resources to assist host-clubs with service delivery including:
- Alkimos (IRB’s)
- Trigg Island (drone operator)
- Scarboro (jet skis)
- North Cottesloe (jet skis and lifesavers)
- Cottesloe (drone operator)
- City of Perth (jet skis)
- Fremantle (jet skis)
- Mandurah (jet skis)
- Port Bouvard (jet skis)
Surf Life Saving WA has implemented a marketing campaign to help abalone fishers get the most out of the short season with numerous tips designed to not only optimise fishing time, but also safety.
With the next fishing period scheduled for Saturday 12 January, fishers are encouraged to be adequately prepared and to visit www.mybeach.com.au/abalone for advice about locations, equipment and safety. All it takes is some simple planning and making sure you have the right equipment to make your catch easier, and safer.
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