Abalone safety urged

Joondalup Weekender - - News -

MEA­SURES to im­prove safety for 18,000 recre­ational abalone fish­ers last sea­son will be used again this sum­mer. The 2018-19 West Coast zone abalone sea­son will open this Satur­day, with li­censed fish­ers per­mit­ted to catch abalone be­tween 7am and 8am on De­cem­ber 8, Jan­uary 12, Fe­bru­ary 2 and Fe­bru­ary 16. “About 18,000 recre­ational abalone fish­ers are ex­pected to be out fish­ing over the four spec­i­fied fish­ing days, with a bounty of be­tween 18 to 22 tonnes of abalone avail­able for rec­fish­ers to sus­tain­ably fish,” Fish­eries Min­is­ter Dave Kelly said. Rec­fish­west chief ex­ec­u­tive An­drew Row­land said li­censed fish­ers were set to de­scend on pop­u­lar abalone fish­ing spots, where they could get a “hands-on fish­ing ex­pe­ri­ence”. “We are urg­ing all abalone fish­ers to be pre­pared, wear the cor­rect cloth­ing, un­der­stand your swim­ming abil­ity and if you’re not con­fi­dent, sim­ply don’t go in the wa­ter,” Dr Row­land said. Surf Life Sav­ing WA gen­eral man­ager Chris Peck said surf life­sav­ing clubs would put on ex­tra pa­trols, sup­ported by jet skis, the West­pac Life­saver Res­cue He­li­copter and drone pa­trol, but they could not guar­an­tee fish­ers’ safety. Last sea­son there were five res­cues, com­pared to 49 the pre­vi­ous sea­son.

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