Fishing line may not be the first hazard people would associate with working in our regional parks, but it is an increasing problem for Parklands Rangers working near our waterways.

Tangling around moving machine parts to the point of causing seizure and breakdown, discarded fishing line often causes problems with Parklands mowers, slashers and brushcutters, slowing down work and potentially causing injury.

The effect of fishing line on our tough machinery is multiplied many times on the soft tissue of birds and animals encountering this insidious hazard. Water birds, turtles, and raptors who hunt near water are all at risk.

Waterfowl, platypus, rakali and turtles easily become entangled in discarded line when swimming and diving, suffering severe injury as they struggle to free themselves or dying a cruel death by starvation. Birds sometimes use fishing line as nesting material, which can lead to entanglement of both the parents and chicks. The problem is widespread, with untold numbers of animals injured or killed each year.

Monofilament fishing line takes about 600 years to break down and is not locally recyclable. Old line – even small pieces and certainly tangles of line – needs to be put in a covered general waste bin. Ideally, it should be cut into pieces less than 6 inches long to prevent further injury down the line.

If you see discarded fishing line, please pick it up and dispose of it properly before it becomes deadly. Thanks for helping!

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