Rock fishing is one of the most dangerous sports in
Australia. The majority of rock fishing-related deaths in Australia occur in
NSW, with an average of eight people losing their lives rock fishing in NSW
In this section of the Water Safety website you can find information about how to minimise the risks when you go rock fishing, including new laws that make wearing lifejackets compulsory and advice about finding the lifejacket that's right for you.
It is safest to wear a lifejacket whenever you are rock fishing.
A new law that begins in NSW on 1 December 2016 makes it compulsory for anyone who is rock fishing anywhere in the Randwick local government area (including children), and anyone who is helping them rock fish, to wear a lifejacket.
Find out more about the new law.
If you want to rock fish, you should learn how to minimise the risks.
Get more rock fishing safety tips.
When fishing in NSW waters, both freshwater and saltwater, you are required by law to pay the NSW Recreational Fishing Fee and carry a receipt showing the payment of the fee.
This applies when spear fishing, hand lining, hand gathering, trapping, bait collecting and prawn netting or when in possession of fishing gear in, on or adjacent to waters.
You can pay the licence fee at hundreds of local agents (bait and tackle shops, caravan parks, general stores and service stations); on the internet at www.licence.nsw.gov.au or by phoning 1300 369 365.
A NSW Government initiative to help continue to drive home the message of wearing modern, comfortable lifejackets while fishing has been expanded to specifically include rock fishers.
The 'Old4New Lifejacket Upgrade' van visits boat ramps and other locations to provide advice and guidance on lifejacket styles and maintenance.
Find out more about the Old4New program at the Centre for Maritime Safety website, part of Transport for NSW.
Safefishing.com.au has a range of brochures, videos and translated information on rock fishing, freshwater fishing and fishing underwater. Translations are available in Korean, Chinese and Vietnamese.
1. Surf Life Saving NSW Coastal Safety Report 2016, p.10.
Check weather conditions
Old4New lifejacket program
Recreational fishing licence
Safefishing Tips and Resources