Yanchep Surf Life Saving Club warn abalone fishers to be safe

People gathering abalone at Yanchep during a previous season.
People gathering abalone at Yanchep during a previous season.

A COUPLE of abalone is not worth losing your life, says Yanchep Surf Life Saving Club president John Heesters ahead of the abalone fishing season opening this Sunday.

He said the club would have up to eight lifesavers at Yanchep Lagoon and would liaise with local sea rescue groups, Surf Life Saving WA and Wanneroo rangers.

Lifesavers would be on the reef and there would be boats, jet-skis and paddleboards available to enable them to reach people quicker.

The season is open for areas from Busselton to Moore River from 7am to 8am on the first Sunday of each month until March 1.

Mr Heesters said it was most important fishers dressed appropriately and assessed the conditions against their abilities.

Wearing a personal floatation device and wetsuit, and talking to lifesavers before entering the water, were among his safety recommendations.

He described abalone fishing days as generally being ‘action days’, which could take a toll on responding lifesavers.

‘No one thinks about the lifesavers, some of the guys are having nightmares or counselling because of resuscitations,’ he said.

‘People forget they’re just volunteers putting themselves at risk.’

The Department of Fisheries issues about 20,000 recreational abalone fishing licences each year.