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COMMUNITY GETS ON BOARD TO TACKLE WASTE

9/July/2021
Photo Caption: Tackle Bin at Cardwell Jetty.

The Cassowary Coast Local Marine Advisory Committee (CCLMAC) has acted alongside the community to target the reduction of plastic marine debris through the installation of fishing tackle bins and cigarette butt bins at fishing hotspots across the region.

Specially designed tackle bins, made of 100% recycled materials, have been installed at five popular onshore fishing locations. The aim is to facilitate the appropriate disposal of unwanted fishing rubbish and to educate anglers and the wider community about the importance of correctly disposing of fishing waste.

Cassowary Coast Regional Council Councilor and Environment portfolio holder, Jeff Baines, said this project    is a great example of the community wanting to protect our natural assets and provide a way to dispose of unwanted fishing tackle in a safe and sustainable manner.

“The tackle bins, situated at Innisfail Public Wharf, Perry Harvey Jetty, Clump Point Boat Ramp, Dunk Island Jetty, and Cardwell Jetty, will be maintained and audited by various community volunteers.”

“The units were designed to hold the line captive, unlike traditional bins, where scavengers, such as marine birds, can remove the line, causing it to find its way back into the environment. Fishing litter commonly leads to wildlife death through entanglement in fishing line and hooks and the ingestion of litter.”

“There has been a huge response from our community, supporting the installation of the bins, as well as their upkeep. I would like to thank all the volunteers and site champions who have stepped up to monitor and maintain the bins, and enter data on the waste collected,” said Councilor Baines.

The owners of Mission Beach Wildcare, Sharon and Steve Mcguiness, said the Tackle Bin Project is expected to  significantly reduce the high rate of fishing line entanglement suffered by birds foraging through popular fishing areas.

“The signage on the bins alerts the community that dropping tackle on the ground has consequences for wildlife that they may not have realised. It also displays the contact number for wildlife rescue, reducing the time  it takes to report a hooked or entangled bird”.

In 2020 alone, the vast majority of the 120 calls regarding marine strandings along the Cassowary Coast were fishing line entanglement and / or plastic ingestion related cases.

“The bins will be a great initiative and a project the whole Cassowary Coast community can embrace,” said Mrs. McGuiness.

The CCLMAC have partnered with the Cassowary Coast Regional Council, who have installed the bins, and  Reef Clean, who provided site surveys and guidance signage. This project received grant funding from the Australian Government’s Communities Environment Program.

For bin maintenance, please contact CCLMAC at cassowarycoast.lmac@gmail.com.

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