A strategy to protect freshwater fisheries by reducing the number of discarded plastic baits is gaining momentum, thanks to Eamon Bolten and other concerned anglers.
As conservation director for the Florida B.A.S.S. Federation Nation, Bolten initiated ReBaits, a program designed to educate anglers about the dangers of discarded baits in our waters and to encourage them recycle or properly dispose of them.
Discarded plastic baits pose a problem too long unnoticed and/or ignored. But thankfully, it now is being addressed enthusiastically by conservation-minded fishermen.
Sadly, these baits aren’t only the only plastics that plague our waters and our fisheries. Our oceans serve as dumping grounds for a sizeable portion of the 260 million tons of plastics produced each year.
Pushed by currents and wind, these discarded plastic items congregate in “patches.” One of the largest is the Great Pacific Ocean Patch, estimated to cover between 700,000 and 15 million square kilometers.
Capt. Charles Moore is at the forefront in bringing awareness about this problem Asked by Celsias what is his most shocking discovery, he said this:
“That no creatures are exempt from ingestion or entanglement in the ocean and that those on land are not far behind. And that ingestion of plastics is in every case transferring toxic compounds to the digestive system.”
Plastic items have made our lives better, no doubt about it. But our irresponsible behavior in disposing of them threaten our waters and our fisheries, as well as our own health.