As someone who has a passion for marine conservation, Peter Chadwick is always on the look out for innovative ideas to reduce our negative impacts on the oceans. One of his biggest bugbears is the amount of fishing line that gets irresponsibly discarded along our coastlines.
This line is non-bidigradable and can last for hundreds of years, entangling and snaring reef systems, marine mammals and birds and causing any entangled wildlife to suffer an unnecessary slow and often painful death.
On a recent visit to Gansbaai, for a catch up meeting with the Deyer Island Conservation Trusts Wilfred Chivall, Peter was shown an innovative project that they have initiated. In association with the Overstrand Municipality, the Trust have established a fishing line recovery and recycling program and have placed specially designed disposal bins at strategic positions and popular fishing locations along the coastline and encourage fishermen to throw away their discarded line into them. Wilfred says that the response has been very positive and that this initiative should definitely be rolled out elsewhere.
These bins are clearly labeled, also helping to increase public awareness about the negative impacts of discarding fishing line and other waste material. In East London, I am also aware of someone, who in a single year has collected nine kilograms of discarded fishing line from his home stretch of coastline! This has been worked out to equal 30kilometers of discarded line!
The actions from these few individuals clearly show that each of us can make a positive difference and will hopefully also encourage others to become involved in beach clean ups in their own areas. For more information on this fantastic initiative, please visit Deyer Island Conservation Trust.