http://www.theherald.com.au/blogs/jeff-corbett/deadly-rock-fishing/... Different activity, different attitude.
Maybe because it's less visible to the general public?
Not sure how they would enforce it either, unless they start rock fishing inspections - and I can't see any state wanting that extra cost.
It's tricky really, because it impacts on family and friends when someone loses their life. And yet no one wants a 'nanny state'. Ultimately education might be the best approach, so long as the state is willing to get serious about it.
Funny you should mention inspections.
Why, only the other day, I was down at Port Noarlunga reef with a few friends, we were turning over stones looking to see what marine life lived there..... when along came two Fisheries Inspectors, asked us what we were doing!
The reason for these random Fisheries inspections are to make sure no-one is decimating the shellfish population. Since we have become so multicultural, there are certain cultures that really love picking those shellfish off the rocks and feasting on them. I believe Port Noarlunga is one of our state Aquatic Reserves and they are not to be taken. They have to check what goes on.
"..And yet no one wants a 'nanny state'..."
Hm ! I am not sure about that, I'd be prepared to give it a go :). More seriously, I wonder why so many discussions assume that (all) cyclists are some sort of "libertarian", when the general population reflects a very broad range of ideas..?
There would also be a grey area in that there is a sandy beach with rocks at one end were is the like jacket needed?
The same as if you didn't need to wear a helmet on a bike path where would the line be were the path ends and the road starts?
The inflatable life jackets are a more comfortable than the older style ones. I would imagine fisheries officers who enforce various fishing regulations could also enforce a life jacket rule.
Perhaps rock fishermen are a lot more out of sight than somebody with their brains spattered across the road lying in a pool of blood?
Well Don, when they are washed away they will be out of sight. The waves washing over the rocks cleans the blood up pretty quickly. Rock fisherman should probably be made to wear a helmet too.
Can we please keep this discussion more general ie : how do we as a society deal with the delemma of protecting people from themselves or should we be protecting people from themselves. The helmet law thing has had a good workout here recently.
The point I wanted to make was that there is inconsistency across sports and recreational activities. Perhaps this is too black and white but I believe if this is the way society is going to go we should have a set level of allowable risk in activities (across the board). A risk matrix should be created for each considering factors such as likelihood and severity of injury, etc. and only once a certain level is reached should it be compulsory to to wear any sort of protective equipment for the activity.
At least the NT fishing adds flashing across the screen make a nice change. Ahh the serenity :)
Ah - you want a philosophy discussion. How about 19th century John Stuart Mill - "On Liberty" - his ideas summarize as
1. People are rational beings, can make decisions in their own interest, and take risks.
2.as long as you dont harm others, or cost others - do as you wish, the State should not limit you.
3.the moment your actions risk affecting someone else significantly - your liberty hits its limits.
4. for enforcing those limts - your friends and neighbours can restrain you (through the mechanism of criticism, ostracism, gossip).
5.in extreme cases - where everyone but you, can see you are certain to cause yourself serious harm - the State can restrain you. It cannot possibly be in your own best interests, to seriously harm yourself. What is in your own best interests, is if someone stops you.... .
Re lifejackets and rock fishing,
In Mills day, they didnt have the math or probability theory we do today. .
Mill would expect you be aware of the risk, and look out for yourself very carefully, so others dont have to try to rescue you, and your family dont suffer an un-necessary loss. .
ButE.g if you went rock fishing and got swept off - " Popular fishing spot; hasn't happened to anyone there for years, must be an Act of God or a Freak of Nature".
Whereas now, we monitor many rock fishers, Australia-wide, and have statistics and risk. We know these rare events, occur regularly. We put numbers on it; and call it Risk Management. Which name, under Mill's thinking, allows the State to intervene....
>We know these rare events, occur regularly.
Do these rare events actually happen regularly? I thought their rarity was part of the reason that there is so much ballyhoo and calls for knee jerk legislation whenever they do occur. Much like calls for compulsory helmet wearing whilst skiing whenever someone dies at the snow. It happens once every few years or so. But the risk is very small and every year multiple people are killed and maimed traveling in cars to the snow.
There is no doubt rock fishing is dangerous, but over 300 people drown each year in Australia, should there also be calls for compulsory life vest wearing by all water sport participants as that would likely save many more lives?
Yes, they do happen regularly, ie at least one every year in Aus - but actual numbers will vary from one year to the next. To see it's regular - merely study enough people on rocks, over enough time.
Suppose you do that - you will find 2 types of incidents:
- people being swept out to sea - maybe a few a year, maybe some years, none
- a larger number of 'near misses' - ie unexpected freak waves, when people got drenched or knocked off their feet - but not swept out. I'd guess a hundred or so a year maybe more.
As for rarity - issue is what they call "fat tail" outcomes, or worst -case events. Even if something is very rare - if its consequences are very severe - and can be avoided - most people would prefer to know about it.