Rock fishing lifejacket law and declared areas


If you are fishing from rocks exposed to ocean swell in a declared area, then you will need to wear a lifejacket. It is safest to wear a lifejacket whenever and wherever you are rock fishing.

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Rock fishing safety act

Under the NSW Rock Fishing Safety Act 2016, when rock fishing in a declared area you are required by law to wear an appropriate lifejacket, this also includes children and anyone helping you fish.

Rock fishing in a declared area without an appropriate lifejacket may result in a $100 on the spot fine.

Lifejacket safety standards

There are a range of lifejackets suitable for use when rock fishing.

An appropriate lifejacket:

  • For an adult, must meet Australian Standard AS 4758 level 50S or greater
  • For a child (under 12 years of age), must be level 100 Australian Standard AS 4758 or greater
  • Must be the correct size for the wearer
  • If it is inflatable, it cannot rely only on oral inflation (blowing into a mouthpiece) for buoyancy. It must be checked and repaired by a professional every 12 months. Note: a longer service period might apply only if specified by the manufacturer.
  • Must be in good condition

Some lifejackets approved under other standards may also meet the requirements.

Approved types of lifejacket

Declared areas

These maps show the declared areas in NSW where you must wear an approved lifejacket.

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