While more fishers are wearing lifejackets, other risky behaviours have proven more resistent to change, reports Dr Kevin Moran in his latest report on the West Coast Rock Fishing Safety Project.

West Coast Rock-Based Fishers Safety Project 2015 – A Decade On provides information on the impact of a decade-long intervention aimed at reducing land-based fishing fatalities and promoting a safety culture among this high risk group of aquatic recreationalists. Dr Moran highlights a number of trends, including:

  • Drowning fatalities declined to less than one per annum since the project began in 2006.
  • Significant behaviour shift in lifejacket use, with 4% (in 2006) of fishers regularly wearing lifejackets, to 40% in 2015.
  • Fishing populations continue to be transient, predominantly male and, culturally and linguistically diverse.
  • While lifejacket wearing among fishers continues to increase they appear to be resistant to change when it comes to other risky behaviours.

This is the 10th year of the West Coast Rock-Based Fisher Safety Project, a collaborative intervention by Auckland Council, WaterSafe Auckland Inc. (WAI) and Surf Life Saving Northern region (SLSNR). 

Click here for more information, the 2015 and previous year’s reports.