News

THE FISHING LINE BIN PROJECT IN THE OVERSTRAND - PROGRESS REPORT

Posted on the 24th April 2018

We at BirdLife Overberg extend a big thank you and sincere appreciation for very generous donations to finance this project from John Kieser of Plastics SA and Dale Wright of BirdLife South Africa. Read more about the significance of this development below.

We appeal to members, friends and partners to forward ideas and talk to us on how we can raise more funds and investigate possible donations to sustain these projects in the short, medium and long term. 

Marine litter affects a variety of marine animals, notably turtles, seabirds and whales. Fishing line and other fishery-related products pose a major problem as marine creatures may become entangled in it and this can impede movement thereby causing body parts being lost, drowning or starvation. Entanglements off South Africa’s coastline have been reported in at least five species of mammals, two turtle species, six fish species and thirteen seabird species. Bird species most affected by entanglement are African Penguins, Cape Gannets, cormorants and gulls. 

For these reasons the erection of fishing line bins was identified as one of six projects forming part of the BirdLife Overberg conservation campaign along the Overstrand coastline. This conservation campaign now goes under the name of the CleanMarine project. The initial aim is to set up fishing line bins at sites to be identified along the Overstrand coastline other than those already set up by the Dyer Island Conservation Trust (DICT) in the Kleinbaai and Gansbaai area. Several new sites have already been identified and plans are being made to use local communities to identify more sites. 

Discussions were held with officials of the environmental management division of the Overstrand Municipality in view of developing strategies about making decisions about the spots where these bins will be erected along our coastline. Decisions on this will be taken once the bins have been received. Many examples of the success of these fishing line bins have already been illustrated. Members of the Great Brak River Conservancy have collected 540g of fishing gut from such bins – this equals 2,16 km of fishing line!! International Marine Volunteers at DICT recently emptied and fixed the fishing line bins along the beach at Die Plaat and collected 580g of fishing line!

We have been very fortunate in receiving a sizable donation from the Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA) division of BirdLife South Africa and we could consider using part of this towards the production and erection of the fishing line bins. The best news however is that John Kieser of PLASTICS SA will gradually make bins available for use along our coastline. We express our sincere appreciation for these very generous donations. Kindly take note of the appeal below and assist us in deciding where these bins need to be placed.

We would like to invite you to get involved in this exciting project. All members, community participants and particularly fishermen/ anglers and regular beach goers can assist with this. Kindly let us know of important spots where fishermen/ anglers are operating regularly, as well as spots where significant amounts of fishing line wash up along our shoreline. We thank those individual members and friends who had already responded to requests in this regard. A provisional list of sites is available from us. Kindly report further possible sites, preferably with GPS co-ordinates to birding@overberg.co.za
 

DICT volunteers cleaning fishing line bins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This African Penguin had fishing line around both its legs and could not be released back into the wild

 

 

 

 

Cape Gannet entangled  with fishing net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cruel cormorant death through fishing line entanglement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COMMENTS

2415
MCGREGOR (posted: 2018-04-25 21:15:19)
Thanks for this great initiative! We regularly walk on the Strand Beach specifically the newly opened stretch next to the old AECI, we often see black oyster catchers and gulls. We pick up, daily, line, hooks and general fishermen litter. It would be wonderful to have these bins at intervals, as we currently have to bring this litter home. Does your initiative extend to this area?