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Tackle Bin Project

Tackle Bin Project

A diver jumps into the Seaway. His dive buddy follows suit. A few metres into the descent, a nature show begins. The spectacular marine life excites the divers, with their eyes out for familiar locals and maybe some special visitors. It is almost perfect…until divers begin to see strange strands and blobs mingling with sea life. On the ocean bed, the divers find more objects – not rocks or grass, nor any type of marine life for that matter.

While the Seaway teems with amazing marine animals, it also hosts significant amount of marine debris – all sorts of rubbish that people simply throw away. In 2016, the image of a turtle entangled in more than 20 fishing lines posted on social media prompted a community action to clean up the Gold Coast Seaway. Sea World reported that in January this year, three turtles needed to be rescued due to fishing line entanglement, one of them found in the Seaway.

“Marine debris is a huge economic and environmental problem globally and is largely present on the Gold Coast, with the Gold Coast Seaway having the highest incidence of fishing debris in an urban area in Australia,” states the Gold Coast Marine Debris Network on its online page.

In March this year, a group of committed locals have come together to tackle the scourge of littered fishing line on the Gold Coast, launching the Tackle Bin Project. This is the first project for the newly formed Gold Coast Marine Debris Network, and the first in Queensland to be using this unique bin design. It has been made possible by funding from the Sea World Research and Recue Foundation, Healthy Land and Water, and the Gold Coast Waterways Authority.


The project involves locals to adopt one of thirteen specially designed bins, which are made in Australia of 100% recycled materials. The bins are designed to keep unwanted fishing tackle secure and allow it to be disposed of safely. They also serve to educate anglers and the wider community about the importance of correctly disposing of fishing waste.


“We have tried to be careful to ensure that the message isn’t sent to blame fishermen, but instead, to educate them about the effects that poorly discarded line may have on wildlife – something they may not have thought about or realised,” clarifies Kellie Lindsay, coordinator of the Gold Coast Marine Debris Network. “The bins are serviced by volunteers who clean and audit the bins. At first this will be done weekly and will be adjusted as necessary. We will take pictures of what we have found in the bins and use data we have collected.”


The project’s key message is that although fishing line debris can cause harm to wildlife, this problem can be easily prevented by ensuring that unwanted fishing line, hooks and used bait bags go into a bin. The project also seeks the help of the community to help spread the message, take photos of the bins being used, and spread it around on social media.


The Tackle Bin Project is testament to the commitment of the Gold Coast community to address the formidable challenge of cleaning up the waterways – one step at a time.

Facebook: tackle bin project (Gold Coast)

Contact Kellie Lindsay: 0415 531 640


By Roselle Tenefrancia


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