It never ceases to amaze me to see the levels some people will go to catch a fish. I’m not talking about beach fishing or even from the confines of a vessel, but rock fishing.
Rock fishing has been in the spotlight for many years now with many ‘fisho’s’ needlessly losing their lives by putting themselves in dangerous situations. Casting a line out into the blue yonder hoping to catch a feed of fish, on wet rocks, with dangerous and unpredictable swells is asking for trouble.
Reacting to the growing number of fatalities from this style of fishing, the NSW Government has upped the anti by legislating that ‘Rock Fishers’ must wear a ‘personal floating device’, also known as PFDs.
That’s great some might say, but the current and approved life jackets that adhere to Australian Standard AS4758, according to NSW Shooters & Fishers Party MP Mr Robert Brown, “They don’t adequately cater for the unique environment of turbulent waters that rock fishers face.”
Speaking with News Of The Area , Robert Brown MP said, “Levels 275, 150 and 100 PFDs in the Standard are designed for offshore use and will keep the wearer face up in the water- but hinders their attempts to swim away from dangerous rocks in the wash zone.”
“Whilst level 50 and 50S PFDs do cover those on the shore line, they specifically require the wearer to be an ‘able swimmer’ and ‘have help and a means of rescue close at hand’.”
“Unfortunately, neither situation caters for rock fishers. Anybody caught in the wash zone will be in great difficulty,” said Mr Brown.
“We’re all for proper safety devices for rock fishers, but they need to be custom-built for that specific purpose,” he said.