The State Government's compulsory lifejacket trial at Salmon Holes, in the Torndirrup National Park near Albany, will commence on January 1, 2019 to evaluate if the wearing of lifejackets is effective in reducing rock fishing fatalities.
The trial makes it compulsory for anyone visiting the rock fishing area at Salmon Holes, even if they are not fishing, to wear a Type 1 lifejacket. The trial will cover three salmon seasons and is expected to run until June 30, 2021.
A community education program will be rolled out over January to inform the community about the trial, what a Type 1 lifejacket is, where they can be hired or purchased and the penalties for not complying.
During this period, while fishers and visitors are learning about the new rules, only cautions will be issued for not wearing a lifejacket.
From February 1, 2019, anyone not wearing a Type 1 lifejacket in the trial area can attract a fine of $200 or more.
Officers from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions will be monitoring and enforcing visitor compliance.
"This is a welcome trial that has been driven by those first responders who put their own lives at risk every time a search and rescue attempt is undertaken.
"I'm sure that it will also help to raise awareness of the dangers when fishing from the rocks on sections of our coastline." Albany MLA Peter Watson said.