Stash Your Trash: How to protect our waterways from litter pollution while fishing 

Stash Your Trash: How to protect our waterways from litter pollution while fishing 

The allure of fishing lies not just in the catch but in the experience itself – the tranquility of the water, the thrill of the chase and the joy of being immersed in nature.  

Recreational fishers are deeply connected to the environments they fish in and they understand their responsibility to protect and preserve the waters they fish from around Australia. 

One simple yet powerful way to make a positive difference is by stashing your trash away when out fishing, preventing it from blowing away and becoming a threat to our environment.  

The importance of responsible rubbish disposal cannot be understated and OzFish Unlimited, Australia’s recreational fishing charity, has teamed up with the NSW Department of Primary Industries – Fisheries for the Fish For Life – Keep It Clean campaign to help protect our waterways.  

Abandoned plastic bags, wrappers, bottles and other refuse can easily find their way into rivers, lakes, and oceans, wreaking havoc on aquatic life and tarnishing the beauty of these natural wonders.  

Everyone who goes fishing can play their part in reversing this trend.  A good starting point before you head out on your fishing expedition is to Go Packaging Free by unpacking your gear at home or before you reach the water to remove any unnecessary plastic wrapping on your tackle. 

Here’s why stashing your litter or trash away during your fishing trips is of paramount importance. 

Preserving Scenic Beauty: Few things compare to the beauty of an unspoiled natural setting. By properly disposing of your trash, you contribute to maintaining the quality of our waterways, ensuring they remain a source of inspiration and relaxation for generations to come.  

Reducing Environmental Impact: Litter in waterways can degrade water quality and harm ecosystems. Plastic pollution, for example, can leach harmful chemicals into the water and disrupt the delicate balance of aquatic environments.  

Leading by Example: As anglers, we often serve as ambassadors for conservation. Setting a positive example by taking care of our rubbish encourages others to do the same, creating a ripple effect that can transform the way we treat our local waterways.  

Protecting Wildlife: Discarded litter can be deadly to wildlife. Birds and fish may mistake it for food, leading to internal injuries. Additionally, animals can become entangled in plastic or other debris, causing severe harm or even death.  

Now, let’s consider some practical tips to help you stash your litter or trash away effectively when fishing. 

Pack It In, Pack It Out: The golden rule of responsible fishing is to bring back everything you bring with you. Use dedicated trash bags or containers in your tackle box or fishing gear to collect waste, ensuring it doesn’t blow away.  

Secure Your Trash: Wind can be formidable at different times of year, particularly near the coast and it needs to be considered when it comes to litter control. Use heavy objects like rocks or sandbags to anchor your trash bag or container, preventing it from becoming airborne.  

Dispose of Trash Properly: When you’re done fishing, make it a point to put your trash in designated tangle bins or recycling facilities. If none are available, take it home with you and dispose of it responsibly.  

Consider Eco-Friendly Alternatives: Minimise your environmental footprint by choosing eco-friendly fishing gear and accessories, such as biodegradable fishing line and lures.  

Fishing is not just a pastime, it’s a commitment to the well-being of the waters we cherish.  

By stashing your litter or rubbish away when out fishing, you’re taking a crucial step towards cleaner and healthier waterways.  

Remember that every piece of trash properly disposed of is for our fish and a testament to your dedication as a responsible angler.  

Let’s make it a collective effort to ensure that the waters we love remain pristine, welcoming, and teeming with life for generations to come. 

Keep it Clean is a partnership with OzFish and the NSW Department of Primary Industries. It is made possible through funding by the Recreational Fishing Trusts and Marine Estate Management Strategy. OzFish is supported by BCF – Boating, Fishing, Camping. 

Join us on a Fish For Life journey to preserve the beauty of our waterways and ensure generations to come can experience the thrill of the catch.