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UPDATE: 24/02/2023 - The information on this website is currently under review.

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Visitors to south coast urged to put safety first

With Easter holidays fast approaching, the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) is reminding people to take care when visiting national parks along the south coast.

DBCA Parks and Wildlife Service Albany district manager Peter Hartley said while the weather on the south coast was often pleasant at this time of year, the Southern Ocean could also be unpredictable and dangerous.

“Every Easter there is an influx of visitors to the beautiful and unique areas the department manages, especially with the attraction of catching Australian salmon,” Mr Hartley said.

“The weather can change quickly in this region and large, unpredictable swells commonly occur. Even on calm days, waves can sweep over rocky headlands and sloping rocks, making them very slippery. Sea spray and rain or even a light shower can make coastal rocks extremely slippery.

“Lives have been lost when people fall or are washed off the rocks, so we urge everyone to consider their personal safety and always fish from sandy beaches and not from rock platforms.

“It is recommended that anyone that chooses to fish from rocks wears a personal flotation device (or PFD), and takes extra care to ensure lives are protected from potential danger.”

Over the past four years, DBCA has collaborated with the City of Albany, South Coast NRM, the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and Recfishwest to improve the management of a number of popular fishing spots over the Easter period, including in Torndirrup and West Cape Howe national parks.

There will be an increased Parks and Wildlife Service presence in Torndirrup National Park over Easter to engage with visitors, increase awareness of rock fishing safety, reduce environmental damage and increase understanding of proper waste disposal.

Watch the safety video:

Other safety and salmon fishing tips for people taking part in coastal activities:

  • Fishing from the beach is the best option. Keep sand between your toes.
  • Avoid fishing from the rocks in windy conditions, when the seas and swells are high or when rain is likely to wet the rocks.
  • Wear a life vest (PFD) and appropriate footwear when rock fishing.
  • Tie off on rock anchor points where provided.
  • Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return.
  • Consider other fishing spots – Salmon Holes is just one of many fishing spots in Albany.
  • Respect the area - don’t litter. Fish heads, offal and bait bags need to be put in bins where possible, or taken with you. Littering fines can be as high as $1000 under the Litter Act 1979.
  • Don’t throw fish waste in the ocean ­- it will just wash up onto the beach.