OzFish and Tangaroa Blue Tackling Litter Through New Campaign

OzFish Unlimited and Tangaroa Blue Foundation have joined forces to help recreational fishers tackle litter in their local waterways through a new campaign ReefClean: Look after your tackle.

Recfishers know the impact their litter can have on their local waterways and its impact on fish and their habitat. The ReefClean campaign aims to empower fishers to take action against litter in their local waterways.

OzFish Unlimited and Tangaroa Blue Foundation

From flotsam collecting in saltmarshes, to riverbank dumping, from forgotten tackle to microplastics that end up in fish bellies, OzFish and Tangaroa Blue are finding innovative ways to create lasting change and turn around outdated practices of past generations.   

OzFish Director of Habitat Programs Cassie Price said the new partnership and education program, ReefClean Look after your Tackle, reinforces the changing perception of recreational fishers in Australia and their motivation to be part of the solution.   

“Actions that make fishing more sustainable remain an ongoing challenge and key area of focus for the Australian recreational fishing industry. 

“Many fishers are knowledgeable of the problem and practice responsible fishing, including taking their litter with them, and catch and release best practice. We’re becoming more aware of what are now some outdated fishing behaviours, so we are seeing real change,” says Ms Price.  

  “Recreational fishers are some of the most passionate people when it comes to caring for our waterways. They see firsthand the impact that litter has on their own fishing experiences, whether that’s in our oceans, estuaries or inland rivers. 

 “Litter can have lasting impacts on the natural environments we fish in, reduces fish numbers and even makes some fishing spots difficult to access and certainly less enjoyable. 

 “We are thrilled to be working with Tangaroa Blue on such a critical issue. While there have been some small improvements, we know there is more work to do and as an industry we need to step up and take action. That is exactly what we are trying to do – and we know that education is key.  

“With the expertise of Tangaroa Blue in this issue, we know we can make a real difference.”  Price says.       

Tangaroa Blue Foundation CEO Heidi Tait says the marine debris organisation is excited to be joining forces with OzFish to tackle the issue of fishing litter. 

 “Combating marine litter is a complex issue with a wide variety of sources contributing to the levels of plastic in our oceans. But collaborations like this one often fishers a simple and effective solution for helping to improve the long-term health of our marine environment through both the removal and prevention of marine litter.” 

As part of the partnership, OzFish and Tangaroa Blue will:  

  • Launch the #Know Your Knots Challenge, which encourages fishers to tie knots successfully to reduce the amount of tackle lost and left behind. 
  • Start a Rig Recycle program enabling fishers to recycle their old fishing gear at BCF Stores across the country. It will also see additional fishing line bins made available at popular fishing sites. 
  • Join forces to lend their support to Clean Up Australia Day 2021 events on March 7.   

Data collected on the day will contribute to the Tangaroa Blue Australian Marine Debris Database which is used by researchers to determine the best way to combat marine litter. OzFish will also use the information collected to investigate new solutions fishers can use to reduce fishing litter entering local waterways. 

“We are determined to combat the growing issue of litter in our waterways and by working together we will have a greater impact,” says Tait.

Learn more about ReefClean: Look after you tackle here.

Read the OzFish Unlimited Media Release here.

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