• Port Stephens Council

Council hooks fishers in new $30,000 rock fishing safety campaign

Rock fishers in Port Stephens will be the target of a new safety and awareness campaign, with the local council securing a $30,000 grant from the Office of Local Government.

To improve safety, Council adopted the Rock Fishing Safety Act 2016 which makes wearing a life jacket on rock fishing platforms in Port Stephens mandatory.

Port Stephens Mayor Ryan Palmer said the educational campaign will remind both novice and experienced fishers that life jackets are mandatory and they save lives.

“We’re so lucky here in Port Stephens with access to some of the best oceans, bays and rivers in the world — and rock fishing is just one great way for locals and visitors to enjoy our blue water paradise.

"Rock fishing, as with all water activities, does come with some inherent risks, and Port Stephens Council is committed to putting safety first.

“With an average of 8 people losing their lives rock fishing every year in NSW, there’s no doubt about it — wearing a life jacket increases the likelihood of a successful rescue, making it easier to save a life,” Mayor Palmer said.

Education is Council’s role, says Environmental Health and Compliance Coordinator Marc Goodall.

“NSW Police are the lead agency for regulation and enforcement however we do have a responsibility to inform the community of the risks associated for not wearing a life jacket.

“Like many NSW coastal councils who adopted the legislation, we hope that all fishers, regardless of their level of experience, understand how wearing a life jacket could be the difference between going home safely to their families or facing tragedy,” he said.

More information and rock fishing safety tips visit watersafety.nsw.gov.au/rockfishing

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