Mayor urges net-fishing safety awareness

Friday 16 December 2011, 4:11PM
By WaterSafe Auckland

Mayor Len Brown is lending his voice to a water safety campaign aimed at Auckland’s Pacific Island community.

WaterSafe Auckland (WAI) is leading a Pacific campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of net fishing, following the deaths of five Auckland Pacific men over Labour Weekend.

“Water safety is key to Auckland life,” says Len Brown. “Our children need to learn how to stay safe around water, and their fathers, brothers and uncles need to be aware of the dangers and know how to stay safe too. WAI is working closely with its partners and the Pacific community to get this message across loud and clear.”

Auckland Councillor and Counties Manukau Police Pacific Liaison Officer Alf Filipaina says, “Our people need to recognise that New Zealand conditions are not the same as in the Islands; traditional methods of fishing may need to be modified to suit local conditions which are unpredictable and challenging.”

We want people to be aware of the dangers and make safer decisions, so they can return safely to their families, Alf says. “The fish will always be there the next day but once lost, a life can never be replaced.”

In collaboration with representatives from across the Pacific community and Surf Life Saving Northern Region, WAI has developed a series of simple messages which that will be used alongside other practical initiatives as foundation for ongoing education within the Pacific community.

“While there isn’t a single fix-it tool, says WAI CEO Sandy Harrop, “careful consideration of the information within these messages, accompanied with a healthy respect for the sea, could make all the difference between returning home safely to aiga or not.”


For more information, contact: 
Sandy Harrop
Chief Executive Officer, WaterSafe Auckland Inc.
Chair, Pasifika Injury Prevention Aukilana (PIPA)
Ph 09 306 0809 or 027 271 5781

Barbara Venville
Regional Promotions Manager, WaterSafe Auckland Inc.
Phone 306 0809 or 0275 233 253

Pacific Net Fishing Safety Messages

1. Be prepared
• Use appropriate safety equipment – a manual inflatable lifejacket makes it easier to move in the water
• Wear appropriate clothing for your activity and the conditions
• Know the weather and tide conditions expected
• Know what to do in an emergency

2. Watch out for yourself and others
• Fish with someone who is experienced and has local knowledge
• Learn safe fishing practices – for the local conditions
• Let someone know where you are fishing and when you plan to return

3. Be aware of the dangers
• Rips, currents and tides will change water depth and ability to stand in the water.
• Never tie anything to yourself
• Have sufficient rope length to reach the shore without having to struggle with the weight of a net
• Water and alcohol don’t mix

4. Know your limits
• Learn safe ways of rescuing others without putting your own life in danger
• Be honest with yourself about your own abilities
• If in doubt, stay out