The latest on fishing and boating rules
3rd April 2020
I want to be perfectly clear on the current rules around fishing and boating. Not surprisingly it’s been a major issue in the local area and a lot of people are still blurring the lines and confusing things.
Firstly, fishing from the banks either alone or with another person is fine, so long as you’re at least 1.5m apart. No more than two people, though, as three is classified as a group and is currently illegal in NSW, unless those people are from the same family and living under the same roof.
Two people fishing from a boat is fine, so long as those social distancing rules are followed.
‘Boating’ is trickier, and jet skis are not boats.
Going to work, the doctor’s or supermarket by boat is allowed for those with no alternative. Cruising around for no essential reason is not.
Kayaking, sailing and paddling is considered passive exercise and is allowed with the social distancing rules in place.
Included below is the exact advice issued by the NSW Public Health Unit.
From 31 March 2020 NSW Government Public health directions have been updated requiring people to stay at home unless they have a ‘reasonable excuse’.
However, as there is on land, there are exceptions that apply on water.
If you go out social distancing rules always apply – at the boat ramp and on your boat.
You should only be on your boat alone, or with no more than one other person; or with family who ordinarily live in the same household as you.
A ‘reasonable excuse’ to use your boat could be to:
exercise (e.g. kayaking/sailing/paddling etc);
get to and from work, where the work cannot reasonably be performed from home;
get groceries; and
provide assistance, care or support to an immediate member of the person’s family.
Unless you have an essential need to be out - stay ashore.
If you do need to go out, stick to your local waters, and do not gather with more than 2 people unless with members of the same household.
It is important to remember that the self-isolation rules apply at all times.
Packing up your boat for a road trip and a half day fishing expedition is also not in the spirit of the restrictions.
Skippers are always responsible, generally this is applied to safety equipment, keeping proper look out and proceeding at a safe speed.
For the latest information on coronavirus and current restrictions, members of the community are encouraged to check the NSW Government website (http://nsw.gov.au) for regular updates.