Posted on the 16th December 2019

Marine litter affects a variety of marine animals, notably turtles, coastal birds 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 even 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 installation of fishing line bins was identified as one of six projects forming part of the BirdLife Overberg CleanMarine conservation campaign along the Overstrand coastline. These bins have now been put up at various sites along most of the Cape Whale Coast shoreline. Thank you to all volunteers who had assisted us with this process and particularly the Dyer Island Conservation Trust (DICT) for initiating this process. We at BirdLife Overberg also extend a big thank you and sincere appreciation to all those organisations who had contributed very generous donations enabling us to roll out these bins. We would specifically like to thank the Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA) division of BirdLife South Africa, MacNeil Plastics for the provision of the raw material and brackets, John Kieser of PLASTICS|SA for facilitating this process and the volunteers at DICT for assembling the bins. 

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 line from such bins – this equals 2,16 km of fishing line!! Volunteers from Marine Dynamics Academy at DICT emptied and fixed the fishing line bins along the beach at Die Plaat and collected 580g of fishing line! The results from BirdLife Overberg’s regular monthly coastal clean-ups further indicate a dramatic reduction in the fishing line being collected at the pilot sites.

We appeal to fishermen and anglers, as well as beach goers, community members and holiday makers to assist with this by depositing fishing line into these bins. Also report spots where significant amounts of fishing line wash up along our shoreline with GPS co-ordinates to It has been shown that a difference can be made to address this problem meaningfully – every little bit of fishing line collected contributes to the improvement of our beautiful coastline.
Please report all injured or oiled coastal birds and animals to the Cape Whale Coast stranding network at 072 598 7117 immediately. This dedicated service is provided by the African Penguin and Seabirds Sanctuary (APSS) of the Dyer Island Conservation Trust in Kleinbaai.

Further information can be obtained from:
Dr. Anton Odendal
BirdLife Overberg
(c): +27 82 550 3347























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