Reduce wildlife entanglements: fish responsibly

HUNDREDS of birds and wildlife are injured or killed in Gold Coast waterways every year due to unattended or discarded fishing lines.
Fishers are being urged to attend to their lines and think before they throw when disposing of unwanted gear.
Wild Bird Rescues Gold Coast founder and operator Rowley Goonan said unattended and recklessly discarded fishing lines cause much suffering to local native birds and can result in their death.
“Every year I catch and treat or hospitalise about 100 birds; mostly swans, pelicans, gulls, ducks and cormorants that have been hooked by Gold Coast fishers,” Mr Goonan said.
“Often these birds bear evidence of being hooked or entangled by an unattended fishing line and many lose toes or feet to amputation by fishing line because they have walked through line that someone has dropped on the ground.
“These sorts of injuries are entirely avoidable – fishers just need to attend to their lines while fishing and dispose of their gear responsibly.”
Local diver Ian Banks has also spoken out on the damage fishing lines cause wildlife via his ‘Diving the Gold Coast’ Facebook page after photographing a green turtle entangled in more than 20 snagged lines in the Seaway.
His post has been widely shared on the social media network and prompted a clean-up of the popular Gold Coast waterway.
Local divers and the general public were involved in the clean-up event on Sunday, July 5.
Gold Coast Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol field officer Philippa Corbett said fishers should be in attendance of their fishing lines at all times.
“Fishers need to be in attendance of their lines so they can release any unwanted or regulated catch, and assist any other wildlife that may become entangled or hooked,” Mrs Corbett said.
“A set line should not be used in tidal or fresh waters.
“Fishers also need to take care and ensure all unwanted fishing line is wrapped into a tight ball and disposed of in a bin.”
To report injured birdlife, please call the RSPCA on 1300 264 625.
For more information on responsible fishing practices, visit www.fisheries.qld.gov.au, call 13 25 23 or download the free Qld Fishing app from Apple and Google app stores.
You can follow Fisheries Queensland on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@FisheriesQld).

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