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Helpful Tips for Cleaner, More Responsible Boating

Here are a few tips to practice clean boating by Musky Mike.

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Helpful Tips for Cleaner, More Responsible Boating

Appropriate management of waterways (oceans, lakes and rivers) by recreational fishers and boaters will conserve and protect marine fisheries, wildlife populations and resource sustainability. Scientific understanding of fish behavior, lake and marine ecology, and development of education for those engaged in recreational outdoor activities have increased substantially in recent decades. Accumulation of waste comes in multiple forms, and disposal of trash into our waterways is one of the biggest threats to fish and wildlife populations.

Used Fishing Line

Fishing line comes in many forms and types – monofilament, Dacron, braided and fluorocarbon. Each line type exhibits specific properties that allow it to be used under a variety of water and environmental conditions. A further decision on the kind of line to use is dependent on the species of fish we intend to target. Though fishing line is a general tackle requirement, the mentioning of line being harmful to the environment seems to be ignored by peer-reviewed journal articles, online discussion forums and general conversation. Despite little literature on the emphasis on the environmental hazards of disposed of fishing lines, it inflicts multiple and constant types of ecological damage. Fishing line has a high tendency to knot and ball up like loose balls of string, and removing knots is a timeless, dauntless task. Knotted fishing line often ends up tangled around the feet of waterfowl and migratory birds. Species of ducks, pheasants, eagles, cranes and geese use rivers and lakes like highways for migrating, foraging, and mating purposes. Bursts of fast kicking by birds attempting to free themselves generally results in the line tightening around their feet and, in some scenarios their wings. Always tie unwanted or unusable fishing line into a thick knot and store appropriately until your vessel is docked. Many harbors and boat launches have public trash cans where the fishing line can be disposed of appropriately. Because the monofilament fishing line is not biodegradable, another solution is to discard the fishing line at tackle shops because most provide bins.

Plastic Bottles

One of the greatest anthropogenic threats to the oceans of our world is free-floating plastic bottles. Considered a recyclable material, many plastic bottles mistakenly fall over the gunwales of boats. The non-profit organization Plastic Oceans International estimates that 8 million tons of plastic are dumped annually into our oceans. With approximately 300 million tons of production of indestructible plastic each year, more than 50 percent of the total amount produced is designated for single-use yet can remain for hundreds of years. Recent studies conducted by the U.S. Fish Wildlife Service and National Oceanic Air Administration (NOAA) determined that 90 percent of all marine seabirds contained some form of plastic in their stomachs. Other marine life becomes entangled in or consumes, the plastic trash, resulting in deformities, impaired swimming mobility and death.

Plastic is recyclable. Many non-profit organizations that focus on reversing the trend of plastic contamination accept donations that assist in funding scientific research, developing education programs, and formulating personnel to clean up plastic in the ocean.

Waste Management Plan 

The proper establishment of a waste management plan is highly necessary and lawfully required onboard vessels 40 feet in length or greater.

Educate your fellow anglers about strategies on how to make a significant difference on every boating expedition by taking steps to be a greener boater.

Other supplemental topics such as spill scenarios, trash and marine debris, waterway cleanup guide, and finding a clean marina are highlighted on the Boat U.S. Foundation webpage. The world's oceans are a unique ecosystem and we are obligated to protect and conserve them.

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