EXPLAINER

WA government and RecfishWest urge recreational fishers to stay home during COVID-19 restrictions

Recreational fishers are encouraged to stay at home during COVID-19 restrictions. Photo: Shutterstock
Recreational fishers are encouraged to stay at home during COVID-19 restrictions. Photo: Shutterstock

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".

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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