A Fishing Line Recovery Bin (FLRB) program was developed by the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry in response to several emotive articles detailing the effects of discarded recreational fishing tackle on seabirds in Queensland. Twelve FLRBs were installed across northern Moreton Bay at popular shore-based fishing locations and boat ramps during late 2012. The FLRB program, combined with signage installed as part of the project, informed recreational fishers as to the consequences of discarding fishing tackle into the environment and also allowed fishers to discard unwanted tackle in a responsible manner.
This project was initiated after Sunfish Queensland’s Scientific Officer, Dr. Barry Pollock, highlighted published material that reported the serious injuries that can occur when seabirds become entangled in recreational fishing equipment that has been discarded into the environment. This was confirmed by numerous wildlife rescue agencies, who stated that hundreds of birds are rescued each year suffering terrible injuries when fishing lines are caught on limbs and wings or when hooks and other tackle are swallowed.
The objectives of the project were: 1) quantify the number and species of birds affected by recreational fishing tackle; 2) convene a stakeholder workshop to discuss methods for mitigating seabird entanglements; and 3) promote the responsible removal of discarded fishing tackle from popular fishing locations in northern Moreton Bay.