Rock Fishing Research

Rock Fishing Research

Rock Fishing continues to be one of New Zealand’s most dangerous pastimes. Five fishers lost their lives off Auckland’s West Coast in late in 2005. In spite of the persistence of rock-based-fishing fatalities on Auckland’s west coast little was known about this fishing fraternity, their demographics, perceptions of associated risk of drowning or their water safety behaviours when fishing at hazardous locations.

Learn about Safer Rock Fishing

West Coast Rock-Based Fisher Safety Project 2020

(Authored by: Dr Kevin Moran, Faculty of Education, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand)

This report is an evaluation of the 2020 West Coast Rock-Based Fisher Safety Project collaborative intervention by Auckland Council, Drowning Prevention Auckland (DPA) and Surf Life Saving Northern Region (SLSNR). This is the 15th year of the project, a successful intervention that has reduced fisher drowning in our West Coast beaches significantly over the years.

Key findings from the Rock Fishing survey YE2020: 82% male, predominantly of Asian ethnicity (58%) and 20-44 years of age (76%). One quarter (24%) were first-time visitors to the fishing site where they were interviewed. Fewer fishers reported often/always wearing a lifejacket, especially relevant to the remoteness of the sites where the survey took place (2020, 38%; 2019, 50%).

Full details, findings and recommendations can be found in the full report which, along with previous years’ reports, can be downloaded from Related Files on this page (right). Read more Rock Fishing Safety advice.