According to a 2020 World Wildlife Foundation report, fishing gear accounts for 10 per cent of all ocean plastic pollution. Every year, an estimated 500,000 to 1 million tonnes of fishing gear is discarded or lost in the ocean.
While much of this comes from commercial fishing operations, recreational fishers can now do their bit to reduce this problematic form of ocean pollution. Fishing conservation charity OzFish and non-for-profit Tangaroa Blue Foundation have teamed up with BCF to install recycling stations in stores across Australia.
'Rig Recycle' boxes have been set up in 9 Queensland and 2 Western Australian stores, with the potential of more locations to be added in future. The service targets items that can be recycled or reused including monofilament line, plastic line spools, hooks, sinkers, swivels, lures, jig heads and floats.
"This program goes one step further than a traditional tangle bin, targeting fishing tackle items that can be recycled or reused. When developing this program, we did not just want to add this rubbish to landfill, that’s not really looking at the entire problem," OzFish founder Craig Copeland said in a statement.
“We need to look at a best practice circular system and how we can genuinely be sustainable as an industry.”
The tackle collected through the program will be sorted into items that can be recycled and those that can be repaired or upcycled.
“We can refurbish hard lures with new paint, bibs, split rings and hooks, with fishing-based charities reusing them for more sustainable fishing,” Craig said.
The Rig Recycling program is a first for Australia and one of only three rig recycling programs in the world.
Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.