Warning for kids and pets after Sydney man's alarming find on walk

Visitors are being urged to be responsible and to dispose of harmful fishing line carefully.

An alarming find at a popular fishing spot in Sydney has highlighted the importance of "responsible fishing" after a man discovered fishing lines and hooks left carelessly on a pier.

Shark scientist Dr Leonardo Guida was taking a "casual stroll" with his girlfriend at the Clifton Gardens pier in the affluent harbourside suburb of Mosman when he found a bunch of hooks "just laying about", which could be extremely dangerous for kids or pets visiting the area, he warned.

"Sadly it's not uncommon to see discarded fishing line or hooks on and near piers, which is why local councils often provide waste bins specifically for these items near spots that are popular for swimmers and fishers alike," he told Yahoo News Australia. "Many fishers are responsible and I also enjoy fishing, but to be frank, it's the lazy few who put a kid's foot at risk of being punctured by a rusting hook."

Fishing hooks found at Clifton Gardens Pier in Mosman, Sydney.
Shark scientist Dr Leonardo Guida found a bunch of fishing hooks and lines left behind at Clifton Gardens in Mosman, Sydney. Source: Dr Leonardo Guida

Dr Guida said he spotted them while enjoying the scenery and spotting fish from above. He noticed "quite a lot of small hooks and discarded fishing line simply laying on the pier" which were all within no more than a square metre. "I asked the fishers around me if the gear was theirs and it was just the one hook I handed back," he said.

Dr Guida noted responsible fishing is "not that hard" and in this instance requires fishers to "dispose of any animal or gear-related waste accordingly".

"If bins aren't there, be prepared to package it up and take it with you until you can appropriately dispose of it. Clean areas are safer and healthier for all involved," he said

"Clifton Gardens is a great and popular place for families and pets, but if we want a safe and healthy Sydney Harbour, responsible fishing has to be a big part of that."

A Mosman Council spokeswoman confirmed to Yahoo there are specialised bins for fishing waste in popular fishing spots in the area and beaches are regularly cleaned. "Rangers speak to fishermen if they see any hazards left behind during their patrols," she said.

Dumping of fishing line a major problem for wildlife

The dumping of fishing line is a major problem with dozens of metres being dumped around Sydney Harbour regularly.

Images provided to Yahoo News Australia show a dead seagull with a line and a three-hooked lure embedded around its feet at Barangaroo foreshore park. But NSW animal rescue group WIRES has revealed the problem is not just confined to Sydney and it's getting worse.

"WIRES is seeing increasing numbers of native wildlife impacted by fishing line and plastic netting entanglement including hooks being swallowed," a spokesperson said.

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