Fishing Litter

Fishing litter (hooks, weights and lines) causes injury and death to thousands of wild animals every year.

This is because:

  • Hooks can become embedded in or even pierce the skin
  • Hooks, line and weights can be swallowed, causing internal blockages, injury and poisoning
  • Line can wrap around an animal, cutting off their blood supply
  • Wildlife entangled in line may suffer a slow death due to starvation

Find out what to do if you see an injured wild animal.

Swans and fishing litter

Swans are the most common wild bird admitted to our wildlife centres. Large numbers of them come to us as a result of fishing litter. We and other groups help around 3,000 swans injured by fishing litter in Britain every year.

What you can do to prevent fishing litter

  • Recycle old fishing line and spools - find your nearest recycling point at the Anglers National Line Recycling Scheme (ANLRS). 
  • Wildlife can get tangled up in line caught in trees and bushes, be sure to check surrounding areas.
  • Don't leave baited tackle unattended. Remove bait from the hook and put the tackle in a safe place
  • Use a bait box
  • Dispose safely of rubbish to help keep your local river, canal or coastline litter-free. Pick up and throw away even if it's not your rubbish!
  • Raise awareness - put up our fishing litter poster to help raise awareness.
  • Understand the freshwater rod fishing rules to ensure responsible behaviour
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