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Fisheries: Pollution Control

Volume 489: debated on Tuesday 17 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of his Department’s policy on minimising pollution from line fishing. (263586)

The Environment Agency (EA) has published a Research and Development report entitled ‘The Impact of Lost and Discarded Fishing Line and Tackle on Mute Swans’ (2002). This showed that around 30 per cent. of all reported swan incidents could be attributed to fishing tackle related injuries. However, between 1996-99 only 3.6 per cent. of swan rescues could be attributed to lead poisoning nationally, a significant decline since the restriction of lead weights was introduced in 1987.

The EA works to maintain public awareness of the legislation and promote responsible techniques in angling to avoid lead and line loss to the environment.