Fishing Line Project
In January of 2012, STCB launched a new project to clean up discarded fishing gear from Bonaire's reefs. The Fishing Line Project aims to reduce the amount of fishing line, hooks, nets and other debris found on Bonaire's coral reefs.
Discarded fishing gear poses a serious threat of entanglement and drowning to our endangered sea turtles. In a recent three-month period, STCB received calls reporting five separate sea turtle entanglements. Two of the turtles drowned when they were held underwater by snagged line and couldn't get to the surface to breathe. Three others were captured by STCB staff and released safely from swallowed hooks and/or entangled line. Of course, there is no way to know how many entanglements go unreported.
This new STCB project, in partnership with the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance and in cooperation with STINAPA, is being developed for use as a model for other Caribbean islands, as entanglement is a common issue throughout the region.
STCB is recruiting volunteer recreational SCUBA divers, snorkelers and walkers to remove the fishing lines that have become snagged on our reefs and shores. When they sign up for the project, volunteers are given special instruction in safely removing the lines and an easy-to-understand poster that has been made to instruct diving, snorkeling and non-diving volunteers on how to deal with the lines.
“TAngler Bins”, pvc-pipes specially constructed to be used as collection bins for fishing lines, have been installed at several beaches, popular fishing spots and dive sites around Bonaire (see image and locations, below). Fishers, volunteers and the general public are encouraged to deposit all waste fishing line, hooks, lures and nets into the bins. STINAPA rangers will empty bins regularly. Specially adapted blue garbage bins have also been donated by Selibon to store the collected lines and these are in position at five easily accessible locations (see image and locations below).
You can help! To remove discarded fishing line from the reef, volunteers must:
- be experienced SCUBA divers with excellent buoyancy skills, or experienced snorkelers
- follow protocols to ensure personal safety and to protect the coral reef from damage. See also our pictorial guide to safe line removal.
- dispose of collected line in special STCB TAngler bins or specially marked blue bins. A list of locations of these special collection bins can be found below.
TAngler bin locations:
Blue bin locations:
STCB Office, Unit 5, 67 Kaya Grandi, Kralendijk
SCUBA diving volunteers can also participate by joining one of the clean-up dives organised by Bonaire's dive operators in partnership with STCB. The quarterly clean up dives run in partnership with Dive Friends Bonaire are listed here.
For further details about this project or to register as a volunteer, please email STCB at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 717 2225 / 701 0433.