Contributor, Yanchep News Online
Abalone fishers took advantage of the third fishing hour of the West Coast Zone (WCZ) abalone fishing season this morning, including at Yanchep Lagoon.
Yanchep Surf Life Saving Club and Marine Rescue Two Rocks volunteers were at the lagoon this morning keeping a watch on fishers searching for the reef-dwelling mollusc.
Fishing was allowed from 7am to 8am for licensed fishers in the West Coast zone between Moore River and the Busselton jetty.
Mid-morning Surf Life Saving WA (SLSWA) tweeted that thousands of people had fished in the West Coast zone and that the event was mostly trouble free with 156 preventative actions, eight first-aids and five rescues performed.
During the week Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) senior management officer Nick Blay had advised fishers to put personal safety first.
SLSWA had assessed the conditions would be very favourable, with an average wave height around 1m expected.
But the moderate rising tide of 0.5m at most fishing locations and the resultant amount of standing water on top of reef platforms was of concern, with waves likely to push across the reefs at near waist height.
In those conditions reef holes and drop offs could be hazardous for fishers with poor swimming capabilities, especially if they were not wearing appropriate clothing when collecting the abalone.
Mr Blay said the forecast also noted that moderate to low winds of 8 knots (with gusts to 13 knots) would tend offshore and this was expected to have a supressing effect on the sea conditions during the session.
“DPIRD compliance officers will be checking abalone locations to ensure participants have the required licence for abalone fishing and that size and bag limit rules are being obeyed,’’ he said.”
More on abalone fishing rules is available at www.fish.wa.gov.au
SLSWA has abalone fishing safety tips at: https://www.mybeach.com.au/safety-rescue-services/coastal-recreation/abalone/
Anyone heading to WA’s beaches at any time is urged to switch on their Sea Sense – check www.sharksmart.com.au or download the SharkSmart WA app. The app combines latest shark activity, as well as beach safety features such as Surf Life Saving WA patrolled beaches and weather forecasts, to help people plan their trips to the ocean.
This article appeared on Yanchep News Online on 5 February 2022.