Exploring the potential effects of lost or discard soft plastic fishing lures on the surroundings as

Published: 18th May 2020
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Recreational fishing is a favorite activity around the world (Cooke and Cowx 2004) and especially in regions such as North America (Arlinghaus and Cooke 2009). In Canada alone, over 3.3 million residents participated in recreational fishing in 2010 and together spent over 39 million angler days (DFO 2012). In 2006, in the USA, over 33.9 million residents went fishing at least once during that period (USFWS 2007). Recreational fishing supplies enormous socioeconomic gains, and therefore, many water bodies in North America are managed to maximize gains for anglers and society (Arlinghaus and Cooke 2009; UN 2012). Recently, there is an increasing realization that recreational fishing, regardless of using contemporary fisheries management strategies, can have a variety of adverse consequences that extend beyond exploitation (McPhee et al. 2002). Specifically, there are an increasing number of reports of environmental pollution and degradation credited to angling activities (Cooke and Cowx 2006; Lewin et al. 2006).Recreational angling can create pollution through a variety of sources including the use of combustion boat motors (sound, production of hydrocarbons, fuel spills) and the deposition of fishing tackle (e.g. fishing line, lead sinkers, lures) and affiliated litter (e.g. packaging from fishing materials). Fishing gear is discarded haphazardly by irresponsible anglers (i.e. trashing) and, more generally, as unintentional loss by responsible anglers (e.g. when line breaks during a failed casting, when equipment becomes entangled in debris). To emphasize the potential magnitude of equipment loss, a study in Minnesota (Radomski et al. 2006) interviewed 8,068 boat anglers for five walleye (Sander vitreus) fisheries and found 80 % of anglers reported fishing gear loss, translating to a loss rate of 0.0127 pieces per hour. Associating this to angler numbers and hours spent fishing, this equated to over 100,000 lead-based things lost in the summer of 2004 alone. O'Toole et al. (2009) studied bank fishing sites in Ontario and uncovered a variety of litter, including fishing line, lures and packaging from fishing gear (e.g. worm containers, fishing gear packaging). Hooks might be ingested with a variety of organisms (reviewed in Cooke and Cowx 2006) and lost line can become entangled in creatures (Derraik 2002) and has also led to degradation of coral habitats (Yoshikawa and Asoh 2004). Fishing Gear loss has the potential to generate problems for various wildlife, but birds have already been the focus of the majority of studies. Soft plastic fishing lures (SPLs) have been commonly used in the angling community since the early 1970s. Soft plastic lures closely resemble natural forage and offer an alternate to cumbersome live bait. With growing concern for lure and biosecurity transport, there's additional recent interest in the use of SPLs to get a number of fisheries. Another benefit to the use of SPLs is that they are much more durable than live bait, allowing one to capture multiple fish per lure. This lastingness and longevity that is following is presumably due to their being composed -biodegradable synthetic polymers. Now, there are countless brands and types of soft plastic lures, and for the large part, they are the same general composition, softened plastic which contains phthalates added to polyvinyl chloride or other products that are similar. Similar tackle, SPLs possess the potential to be lost or discarded in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.

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