A group of committed locals have come together to tackle the scourge of littered fishing line on the Gold Coast. They will be launching the ‘Tackle Bin Project’ this week, the first project for the newly formed Gold Coast Marine Debris Network, and the first in Queensland to be using this unique bin design.
The project is based on the highly successful ‘Seal the Loop’ initiative founded by Zoos Victoria in 2010. Due to the success and recent expansion across Victoria and NSW, the Network thought it would be great to bring it to Queensland.
Kellie Lindsay, coordinator of the Gold Coast Marine Debris Network, said “the Gold Coast experiences the highest incidence of littered fishing tackle of any urban area in Australia. This causes hundreds of entanglements of birds and other wildlife every year, and also causes threats to children and pets”.
The project involves locals to adopt one of thirteen specially designed bins, which are made in Australia of 100% recycled materials. The bins are designed to keep unwanted fishing tackle secure and allow it to be disposed of safely. They also serve to educate anglers and the wider community about the importance of correctly disposing of fishing waste.
The bins are being installed this week at popular fishing locations around the Gold Coast, including the Seaway, Oxenford Weir, and the Tallebudgera and Currumbin creeks.
Rowley Goonan, who runs Wild Bird Rescues Gold Coast, said “The Tackle Bin Project is expected to significantly reduce the high rate of fishing line entanglement suffered by birds foraging through popular fishing areas. The signage on the bins alerts fishers that dropping tackle on the ground has consequences for wildlife they may not have realised, and contact numbers for wildlife rescue organisations are displayed, reducing the time it takes to report a hooked or entangled bird”.
Sea World Research & Rescue Foundation’s Belle McCarthy said the bins will be a great initiative and hopes the Gold Coast community will embrace them. “At Sea World we see first-hand the damage discarded fishing gear can do to marine life. In January this year, three turtles needed to be rescued due to fishing line entanglement, one animal was found in the Gold Coast Seaway”, said Ms McCarthy.
“Through the Sea World Marine Debris clean up and Zero Waste grants we are working with the community to reduce the threat of ocean litter. This is an enormous problem and will need all of us to work together to create a better future for the many species of marine life living around South East Queensland waterways”.
The Tackle Bin Project has been made possible by funding from the Sea World Research and Rescue Foundation, Healthy Waterways, and the Gold Coast Waterways Authority.
The Gold Coast Waterways Authority (GCWA) said they are “committed to working with the local community to improve the resilience of our waterways. GCWA is excited about partnering with the Marine Debris Initiative to provide a safe and easy way to dispose of unwanted fishing line and take a positive step towards litter reduction within Gold Coast waterways”.
For more information, see goldcoastcatchments.org/gold-coast-marine-debris-network/