Can I go fishing during coronavirus? This has been the third most googled question across Australia over the past week as people try and work out what they can do during COVID-19 restrictions.
Although the WA government has not banned recreational fishing or boating, for the most part it is considered non-essential travel.
This means unless fishing is an essential activity, such as for exercise or work, people should follow government advice and stay home.
In a press conference last week, Premier Mark McGowan "encouraged recreational fishers to stay home for now".
RecfishWest is also urging all WA fishers to follow all the recommended precautions by the government around social distancing and non-essential travel between regions.
"We all love fishing and its value for mental health and well-being is greater than ever right now with it providing many in our community a much-needed break during these stressful times," a RecfishWest spokesperson said.
"However, advice from the government was very clear: if you can stay at home, you should stay at home."
RecfishWest outlined what fishers can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Stay home where possible to minimise social interactions
- Fish locally only, near where you live and limit your time away from home
- Travel directly to and from your home to prevent any social interactions
- Maintain social distancing of 1.5 metres from other people
- Fish alone, with family, or with household members only
- Do not congregate at land-based fishing locations, instead look for more secluded alternatives
- Stay away from popular man-made fishing structures such as jetties
- Do not go fishing if you are in quarantine
- If you are unwell, you must self-isolate
WA Police warned that measures surrounding social distancing and gatherings also apply to those boating or fishing - meaning $1000 on-the-spot fines could be issued to those breaking the rules.
For more information surrounding fishing and boating during COVID-19 restrictions visit: https://www.transport.wa.gov.au/aboutus/covid-19-faqs.asp