Rock fishing safety 'not a council responsibility'

Council has unanimously resolved not to opt-in to participation in the Rock Fishing Safety Act (2016) and to investigate other options and opportunities to work with the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and other agencies to improve rock fishing safety in the shire.

The decision was made in consideration of costs and practicality of enforcing the Act across the shire.

The NSW Government has implemented the Rock Fishing Safety Act 2016 (the Act) to improve rock fishing safety. The Act provides the opportunity for local Council areas to 'opt in' and be listed as areas where life jackets are mandatory for rock fishers.

However the challenge for regional councils that cover significant coastline areas, is the policing and enforcement of the Act.

Cr Mitchell Nadin said he had taken a lot of calls recently about the matter but it was not a council responsibility.

"It's up to the recreational fisher themselves to make sure the tide is right, make sure they are wearing the appropriate footwear, clothing, make sure they've got a partner with them. All of these things will prevent them from even needing a life vest in the first place. It's important we communicate that clearly to the public," Cr Nadin said.

Cr Robyn Bain said "society has to take some individual responsibly".

"I think there is a limit to what governments can do," Cr Bain said.

Council officers will assess the merits of installing 'Angel Rings'.

This story Rock fishing safety 'not a council responsibility' first appeared on Merimbula News Weekly.

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