I/we acknowledge the negative impacts of discarded or lost fishing line in the aquatic environment and the increased dangers to wildlife of the use of stainless steel and alloy hooks (SS/A hooks).
Fishing line in aquatic environments can kill and injure repeatedly. Fish, mammals such as dolphins and sea lions and aquatic birds such as sea eagles and pelicans are all affected. Fishing line is easily collected and disposed of thoughtfully.
SS/A hooks are non-biodegradable and remain active in marine environments for longer than the alternatives. The negative effects of the use of SS/A hooks arise due to lodgment and entanglement in marine life, often with devastating effect.
We call on fishers to consider the impacts, avoid the disposal or loss of fishing line into aquatic environments and stop the use of SS/A hooks.
We call for the phasing out of the use SS/A hooks over time and we call on governments to facilitate the change with encouragement and consider appropriate regulation or legislation.
We support the education of fishers regarding the dangers.
We support the facilitation of proper recovery and disposal of fishing line.
We support the Fishers For Conservation education campaign to reduce the negative impact of discarded/lost fishing line and SS/A hooks on the aquatic environment.
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How to reply: Download statement as a Word file (.doc) Fill in your details and return as and email attachment to email@example.com or print and mail to The Secretary, Fishers For Conservation, PO Box 1149, Blackwood, SA 5051, Australia
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The problem of discarded or lost fishing tackle causing damage to aquatic wildlife is of major concern. Fishing line discarded from boats, beaches, jetties or anywhere else can remain in the aquatic environment for very long periods of time continuing to kill or injure marine life.
Similarly rust resistant stainless steel or alloy hooks (SS/A hooks), especially in conjunction with attached line, can injure or kill aquatic life repeatedly over long time periods. Those who take the time to consider the long-term effects of these hooks on aquatic life soon realise that there are cheaper and more sensible alternatives. The negative effects of rust resistant hooks on marine wildlife are generally accepted by those in the know; however the impacts are not widely understood by the general public. As such it is worrying that SS/A hooks are still readily available to fishers.
The fishing tackle we use can have an unintended and negative impact on marine wildlife. There are simple steps that we can take to minimise the problem and help create healthier ecosystems. Standard hooks will not rust if rinsed of salt water and stored correctly, so why use SS/A hooks? Fishing line is easily bundled up and disposed of thoughtfully so why let it go into the environment where it can undermine the future of fishing and damage wildlife?
Discarded or lost fishing line remains in the aquatic environment for extended periods where it entangles, injures and kills fish, birds and marine mammals horribly, unnecessarily and repeatedly.
Lost stainless steel and alloy hooks remain in fish and other wildlife and the environment for longer than alternatives, where they can kill again and again.
Normal metal hooks rust quickly in a fish's stomach and more rapidly than stainless in the marine environment causing less damage to wildlife if lost.
Fishing line is easily collected and disposed of thoughtfully.
Stainless steel hooks are more expensive than alternatives.
Fishers For Conservation recommends the use of alternatives to stainless steel and other rust resistant alloy hooks.
Fishers for Conservation is calling on individuals and organisations to support our Environmental Statement regarding fishing with Stainless Steel and Alloy hooks.
Please take the time to read the attached statement and return the email or letter lending your personal support and/or the support of your organisation. Your support will cost you nothing if replying by email and will help to raise public awareness and encourage change.
This statement is being sent to thousands of organisations and individuals and we expect the list of organisations that do not support this non-controversial, common sense statement to be a short one.
Please avoid line loss and recover lost line when safe to do so and if you currently use rust resistant hooks dispose of them thoughtfully and consider other alternatives when next at the tackle store.
Josh Coates (Secretary), Patricia Payne (Steering Commitee Member) and Jan Oates (Education Campaign Volunteer)
Fishers for Conservation Inc.
To download the cover letter as a pdf file suitable for printing click here