Western researchers tackle fishing line waste in the Hawkesbury

TAngler bins installed at Pughs Lagoon

The Wetlands Working Group, a collaboration between stakeholders including Western Sydney University and Hawkesbury City Council, has installed fishing line bins as part of a trial to test their effectiveness in reducing the impact of fishing line in local waterways.

The fishing line bins, called TAngler bins, have been installed at popular fishing spots throughout the Hawkesbury including Pughs Lagoon and will remain in place until the end of the year.

Project leader, Dr Michelle Ryan from the University’s School of Science and Health, said fishing line left on the banks of waterways is a growing problem.

“Local wildlife groups are receiving increasing amounts of calls for water birds, such as ducks and pelicans, who have become entangled in fishing line, especially at recreational fishing spots in the Hawkesbury,” said Dr Ryan.

“In many of the popular fishing locations, the general waste bins are quite a distance away from fishing areas. To combat this, we have identified fishing hotspots and installed the fishing line bins in strategic locations to be highly visible and very close to actual fishing locations. This high visibility will help educate and promote safe and easy disposal of unwanted fishing line.”

According to Councillor Danielle Wheeler, Chair of the Wetlands Working Group, the project is the result of great collaboration between stakeholders and community members.

“Getting rid of old fishing line might seem like a small thing, but for wildlife it’s really life or death. I’m really pleased to see this collaborative effort working so quickly to make a difference,” said Councillor Wheeler.

Along with the installation of the bins, the team will conduct surveys to record the amount of fishing equipment discarded.

Londonderry resident and natural science student at Western Sydney University, Emma MacKenzie, will also contribute to the project as part of her undergraduate degree.

“My local community and the environment are a key concern for me. I enjoy helping my local community and this project is a great opportunity to educate and provide a powerful impact on the environment,” said Emma.

The Wetlands Working Group is a collaboration between Western Sydney University, Hawkesbury Environment Network, concerned community members and Hawkesbury City Council to protect significant wetlands in the area under threat.


8 May 2019

Ali Sardyga, Media Officer

Photo credit: Dr Michelle Ryan