Tackle bins to tackle the recreational fishing debris issue
The idea of addressing recreational fishing gear litter at popular fishing locations was formulated at a source reduction plan workshop facilitated by the Tangaroa Blue Foundation early 2017 on the Gold Coast. With the support of a number of local organisations and community members, a working group developed the Tackle Bin Project which included the design, installation and monitoring of specialised fishing line bins. Thanks to their efforts, twelve bins were later installed in popular Gold Coast recreational fishing locations. The initiative was generously funded by the Sea World Research and Rescue Foundation, Healthy Waterways, and the Gold Coast Waterways Authority.
Heidi Taylor, CEO of Tangaroa Blue Foundation said: “We are proud to have been able to support this project through our source reduction plan process. It has been amazing to see how much the Tackle Bin Project team have achieved. The amount of litter that was prevented from entering the oceans thanks to their efforts is astounding and we encourage every coastal community to join the Tackle Bin Project.”
It was anticipated that the bins would collect 2km of line in their first year, but those expectations were surpassed and the amount collected has been increasing every year. In 2019 alone, the data shows that 25km of fishing line and over 3,000 fishing hooks were collected bringing the overall collection numbers up to 70km+ of fishing line and 6,500+ hooks collected since 2017.
The bins are adopted out and serviced weekly by local volunteers, and the contents are recorded in the Australian Marine Debris Initiative Database, providing valuable insights on the type of items collected and enabling scientists, government agencies, communities and organisations to request data on marine debris in Australia for educational and research purposes.
Various communities have expressed interest in setting up their own Tackle Bin Project and 24 bins are now in operation in the Gold Coast area. Taking the initiative to the next level, a network of communities has been created, and a website dedicated to share information and resources was launched to encourage everyone to take part in the project. If you are interested in setting up a tackle bin in your community, why not join the Tackle Bin Project? Plenty of resources to get you started including tips on how to find the best site for the bins, who to involve and how to raise awareness are available here.
More data and statistics are available in the 2019 report available here.
Cover photo extracted from the 2019 Tackle Bin Report