Fisheries Minister Peter Tinley has congratulated Surf Life Saving WA (SLSWA) for its comprehensive approach to abalone safety and fisher education and the dedication of the volunteer lifesavers, who monitored the West Coast Zone (WCZ) fishery during the 2019/20 season.
The McGowan Government invests recreational licence fees to projects that enhance and advance recfishing, and as funding for Recfishwest and management through the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD).
Through the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund, $331,523 has been allocated to SLSWA for its vital work in abalone fisher safety during WCZ seasons and its ongoing efforts to educate abalone fishers in reducing personal risks.
The funding has been allocated to cover SLSWA services over three seasons up to and including the 2021/22 WCZ season and helps to ensure lifesavers get the training required to know how to rescue someone fishing on or off a reef.
Lifesavers carried out 15 rescues, gave first aid on 35 occasions and kept fishers out of harm’s way with 1,019 preventative actions during the recently concluded fishing season.
Compliance officers from DPIRD issued a total of 185 infringements or warnings, including 57 infringement fines of either $200 or $1,000 to fishers for offences related to excess bag limits and there is one pending prosecution for a female fisher who obstructed an officer.
As stated by Fisheries Minister Peter Tinley:
“The McGowan Government remains committed to keeping safety and sustainability as the key goals for the rare experience that Western Australian recreational fishers have in fishing for this seafood delicacy on the doorstep of a major capital city.
“Pre-fishing session forecasting by Surf Life Saving WA to assess the ocean’s safety risks ahead of each designated Saturday, plus the move to only allow fishing during summer when the lifesaving resources and volunteers are available is helping to keep abalone fishers safer.
“SLSWA is a valued partner in abalone fishing safety in WA and plays a crucial role in educating fishers, some who also need to do more to raise their level of personal safety.”