Discarded fishing material (nets, mono filament line, and Cray fish trap anchor ropes) is responsible for damage to marine life. What makes it especially dangerous is that it cuts into the skin and flesh of larger mammals (i.e. seals). The material is also dangerous for human swimmers and boating as it can damage propellers of boats. By increasing public awareness about the negative impact of fishing line debris on marine life, water quality, and human welfare, the project’s goal is to reduce the amount of fishing line entering and remaining in the marine environment.
The Fishing Line Recovery and Recycling Program uses PVC pipes to create receptacles that stand 60 cm high, and are erected at beaches around the country as repositories for used, discarded monofilament fishing line. Since the project was launched for the first time as a best practice in partnership with conservation groups and various local authorities, it has met with overwhelming support by anglers, boaters and local communities along the coast.
As a result of the success of the project, more than 500 bins can now be found at most of the popular angling beaches around South Africa’s coastline. More than 350 kg’s of discarded fishing line have already been removed, most of which has been recycled into bush cutters line. In excess of 500 fishing hooks have also been retrieved from these bins.