A multi-language campaign to get West Auckland rock fishers to wear lifejackets may be extended from the wild surf spots to the swift tidal flows of Manukau Harbour.

The campaign to change risky behaviour began in October 2005.

It was a response to five drownings in four months after fishers were washed off rocks by large waves.

Eleven lives have been lost at west coast fishing spots since 2005 but none over the 2011-12 summer, according to WaterSafe Auckland chairman Dr Kevin Moran.


Fishers were warned in their native language and angel ring flotation devices were installed at eight risk spots at five beaches in 2009.

Dr Moran said a survey of 142 rock fishers was done in Mandarin, Korean and English at six spots and showed 56 per cent were Asian and 19 per cent from Pacific Islands.

A 2011 survey showed the number of fishers who said they never wore lifejackets had changed over six years from 72 per cent to 37 per cent.

Staff were to look into extending the programme.