Rock fishers more aware of drowning risk
A self-reported positive change in behaviour, attitudes and knowledge appears to be continuing among the rock fishers on Auckland's wild west coast, according to Dr Kevin Moran's latest report on the West Coast Rock Fishing Safety Project.
Results from the study, conducted at the end of the 2012 summer safety campaign, suggest a beneficial shift in fisher's attitudes over the past five years to one of having a more realistic appreciation of the drowning risk.
Of the 142 fishers surveyed:
- 89% agreed that getting swept off the rocks as likely to result in their drowning (2011, 73%)
- 80% believed that drowning was a constant threat to life when fishing from rocks (2011, 69%)
- 89% considered that their safety knowledge had improved in the past year (2011, 74%)
- 85% considered that their safety attitudes has improved
- 89% thought that their safety behaviour had improved
- Interestingly, less than half (46%) thought that the safety behaviour of their mates or other fishers had improved
- Substanially fewer also reported never wearing a lifejacket / buoyancy aid (2011, 37%; 2012, 28%)
The wearing of gumboots/waders (25%)and practice of going down rocks to retrieve snagged lines (68%) are two identified unsafe practices that the report has highlighted for future safety promotion.
It is clear that with these long term positive changes, including the often/always wearing of lifejackets/buoyancy aids (2006, 4%; 2012, 38%), over the project's lifetime, that its continuation is vital. In 2005 there were five fatalities in four months. Over the 2011-2012 year there were none.
Full details, findings and recommendations can be found in the 2012 Report which you can download from the Resources List on this page (right).
Rock fishing is a very popular recreational activity yet also one of New Zealand's most dangerous, with Auckland’s rugged west coast claiming 11 lives between 1999 and 2005.
In October 2005 the Auckland Regional Council (now Auckland Council), Surf Life Saving Northern Region (SLSNR) and WaterSafe Auckland Inc. (WAI) [further joined by Safe Waitakere in 2009] initiated the West Coast Rock Fishing Safety Project aimed at reducing the number of fatalities, through:
- A fishing safety education programme that would help fishers identify and manage the risks associated with this location; and
- Surveying of fishers to enhance the understanding of their safety knowledge, beliefs and behaviours.
The project utilises an ‘action research’ model, identifying fishers’ safety beliefs and behaviours then integrating the findings of the summative surveys into the subsequent prevention programme the following years. Reports for each year of the campaign, authored and produced by Dr Kevin Moran, Faculty of Education, University of Auckland, can be downloaded from the Resources List on this page (right).
Click here for Rock Fishing Safety advice.
For project information contact email@example.com