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Tangled fishing lines causing problems for wildlife

RUBBISH DUMP: Daryl Hampson says people are discarding their fishing line rather than putting it in the bin and are harming wildlife.
RUBBISH DUMP: Daryl Hampson says people are discarding their fishing line rather than putting it in the bin and are harming wildlife. Max Fleet BUNDAR

BURNETT River activist Daryl Hampson is concerned wildlife are being hooked, caught and killed by careless fishermen.

Mr Hampson, who is a fisherman himself, says people fishing along the edges of the Burnett River are leaving behind their discarded fishing lines which were piling up and endangering the native wildlife.

His concern comes as he found there were an increasing number of dead birds caught in a tangle of fishing lines, others still alive and struggling to get out and some living with fishing line poking out of their mouths as they had swallowed a hook or a pile of fishing line.

Mr Hampson said the latest he saw was a pelican with a thick, prominent piece of line poking out of its bill.

"People just aren't being responsible for their line, they're just throwing it on the ground," Mr Hampson said.

He said the problem was even more pronounced in North Loins Park, under the Burnett Traffic Bridge, an area common with people new to fishers and families.

"So many people get the eggbeater reel and they get a bunch of grapes and it all just comes out in a big ball," he said.

"They cut it off and throw it on the ground instead of putting it in the bin or taking it home with them.

"Just take it home with you, if I go fishing with my mates in a boat or go on the bank, I take a bucket with me with my odds and ends in it and even if I tie a hook and cut a bit off, I throw it in the bucket.

"We need to make the public aware, don't drop the fishing line on the ground."

Mr Hampson said some additional bins in the area might help.

But the Bundaberg Regional Council's health and regulatory services spokesman Wayne Honor said the council had already responded to Mr Hampson's concerns and installed two tangler fishing line bins near the boat ramp.

"Within North Lions Parks, Council also provides eight 240L bins for general rubbish," Cr Honor said.

But Mr Hampson said it wasn't enough and suggested the council could use the images he'd taken of dead and injured birds to compile an information board to inform the public the damage they were causing.

Cr Honor said the council would take the signage feedback on board.

"However we also ask that residents fishing in this area consider the consequences of their actions," he said.

"Leaving rubbish of any kind in a waterway is not only considered littering, it can be harmful to the environment and marine life."

Topics:  bundaberg environment fishing line wildlife


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