News and communications
New campaign launched to prevent wildlife being harmed by fishing litterLast updated: 23 October 2012 15:01
In a bid to reduce wildlife harmed by fishing litter, new anti-litter signs have been displayed around Langstone Harbour.
Local resident Mike Wearing contacted Portsmouth City Council after he was concerned about the damage fishing lines can do to animals and birds, the council and Langstone Harbour Board then worked together to produce signage.
The signs are modelled on a photograph Mike Wearing took of a Mediterranean Gull, which was tangled in a line.
A fishing line is estimated to take more than 600 years to decompose, and during that time it can entangle wild animals resulting in their death.
Mike Wearing, from North End said:
“It was only after I got home and had a closer look at the photograph I took, that I realised the bird was trailing line.
“In my previous job I managed Deadwater Valley Local Nature Reserve and was constantly clearing hung up line, often with attached hooks. If anglers realised the consequence of untidy fishing, I’m sure they would take more care in disposing their waste appropriately.
“Most are aware and it is the minority that cause problems, but I hope the new signs will alert more anglers to the problem.”
Cllr Lee Hunt, Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure said:
“Fishing is one of the city’s most popular leisure activities, but having done lots of beach watch crawls and found hooks, line and weights; we can see the problems it can cause to wildlife. We would like everyone to work together to take their rubbish away with them.
“I’d like to thank Mike Wearing for bringing this to our attention and everyone involved getting the signage created.”
Louise Maccallum, environment officer, at Langstone Harbour Board, said:
“Most anglers who enjoy fishing around Langstone Harbour are very conscientious about their waste, but sadly I have noticed an increase in discarded fishing hooks and line over recent months.
“I hope these new signs will encourage everyone to be more careful about the disposal of old fishing gear, making the harbour a safer place for the astonishing birds and mammals that live here.”
Signs in the Portsmouth area have been funded by the council, and those in the Hayling areas are funded by Langstone Harbour Board.
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