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Abstract

In 2006, a safety campaign was launched in Auckland, New Zealand to combat a spate of drowning incidents associated with fishing from rocky foreshores. This paper provides data from surveys of fishers from 2006-10 to determine if preventive behaviors have been adopted after five years of safety promotion. The most significant change in self-reported behavior related to the increased use of life jackets with 34% (95% CI = 0.25-0.44) of fishers in 2010 compared with 72% (95% CI = 0.66-0.77) in 2006 reporting never wearing a life jacket. Some risky behavior (such as consuming alcohol) and at-risk attitudes (such as overconfidence in the value of local knowledge) persisted. The cultural and linguistic diversity of fishers, together with their transient participation, make them a difficult group to reach with education interventions, although changes in life jacket use were encouraging. Continuation of the safety campaign is recommended, and ways to further enhance fisher safety are discussed.

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