- When visiting popular rock fishing spot Salmon Holes, people will be required to wear Type 1 lifejackets
- The trial is designed to see if the wearing of lifejackets will reduce rock fishing fatalities
The State Government's compulsory lifejacket trial at Salmon Holes, in the Torndirrup National Park near Albany, will commence on January 1, 2019 to evaluate if the wearing of lifejackets is effective in reducing rock fishing fatalities.
The trial makes it compulsory for anyone visiting the rock fishing area at Salmon Holes, even if they are not fishing, to wear a Type 1 lifejacket. The trial will cover three salmon seasons and is expected to run until June 30, 2021.
A community education program will be rolled out over January to inform the community about the trial, what a Type 1 lifejacket is, where they can be hired or purchased and the penalties for not complying.
During this period, while fishers and visitors are learning about the new rules, only cautions will be issued for not wearing a lifejacket.
From February 1, 2019, anyone not wearing a Type 1 lifejacket in the trial area can attract a fine of $200 or more.
Officers from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions will be monitoring and enforcing visitor compliance.
The State Government continues to work closely with the Lifejacket Trial Reference Group which includes representatives from Recfishwest; the Department of Fire and Emergency Services; Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development; Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions; and the City of Albany on the implementation of the trial.
Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly:
"With an expected increase in visitors to the Salmon Holes area over the summer holidays, it is the ideal time to commence the trial and raise awareness of the new safety rules and how wearing a lifejacket can ultimately save lives.
"Salmon Holes was chosen for the trial as it is a known 'black spot', with 13 people known to have lost their lives after being swept off rocks into rough seas since 1983.
"I thank the trial reference group for their work in getting the trial up and running, and I encourage the local community and all visitors to support the trial and wear a lifejacket when visiting this spectacular part of our coast."
Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:
"In WA, we have a wild and beautiful natural coastline enjoyed all year around by locals and tourists.
"Salmon Holes, part of the Torndirrup National Park, is popular for rock fishing and notoriously dangerous.
"Introducing the lifejacket trial will help to ensure the safety of visitors while they enjoy recreational activities within the national park."
Comments attributed to Albany MLA Peter Watson:
"This is a welcome trial that has been driven by those first responders who put their own lives at risk every time a search and rescue attempt is undertaken.
"I'm sure that it will also help to raise awareness of the dangers when fishing from the rocks on sections of our coastline."
Fisheries Minister's office - 6552 6100
Environment Minister's office - 6552 5800