LINEOUT is the latest Coleraine Borough Council anti-litter initiative in partnership with the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), aimed specifically at discarded and lost monofilament fishing line and tackle at some north coast harbours and ports.
Anglers will notice the new specially designed LINEOUT bins appearing at their favourite fishing spots at the following harbours (Portstewart, Portrush and Portballintrae) including some informal fishing marks at Portstewart Head, Ramore Head and the Blue Pool.
Council’s main initiative, lead by Environment Officer Jim Allen has many years experience in gathering marine debris, beach litter and studying the impacts on wildlife and humans alike.
Jim said: “Back in 1990 when I organized my first big beach clean, I noticed that the top of the pile was both commercial and recreational fishing litter.
“Being involved in whale and dolphin conservation for many years I am all too aware of the hazards of lost fishing tackle and have seen many tragic examples of dead and injured seabirds. Today I have noticed a tail off in lost and discarded commercial gear due to a general decrease in north Atlantic activity but the levels of recreational fishing litter has remained constant and it’s time to address Anglers with an appeal to reduce this type of waste which can cause so much harm to local marine wildlife.”
The Marine Conservation Society UK were the most appropriate and suitable partners for Council. Pollution Programme Manager Dr Robert Kierle said: “MCS is delighted to have been able to work with Coleraine Borough Council to address the problem of discarded fishing line which not only looks unsightly but can have fatal consequences for wildlife. We’re hoping that other councils in Northern Ireland will follow Coleraine’s proactive stance on this issue and adopt similar strategies within their own areas.”
Local Bait and Tackle shop owners Douglas Long (Flying Tackle Portrush), Keith Creelman (Outdoor and Country Sports Coleraine) and Crawford Ranking (Portrush Harbour) are all happy to support LINEOUT and endorse tidying up what is a very popular and great sport on the north coast.
Portrush-based charter boat owner Richard Connor, skipper of Causeway Lass agrees and said: “All anglers who charter the Lass are made aware that no line or tackle is lost or tossed overboard. I often have to free my props of tangled monofilament which could damage my revenue. I would encourage all the anglers at the harbour wall to use the LINEOUT bins and help preserve the good character of sea angling.”
Anglers are reminded that the LINEOUT bins are for waste monofilamane line and other tackle only and that all other waste should go into the nearest litter bin.
Jim Allen adds: “I haven’t met an angler yet who doesn’t care for the environment and I know that if given the chance, they will support cleaner and healthy seas including tidy, litter-free harbours.”