Dutch anglers to reduce lead use by 30% in three years
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The Dutch Government has reached an agreement with the country’s anglers that will see the use of lead in tackle being reduced by at least 30% over the next three years.
The move, which is intended to be the first step to reducing the use of the toxic material altogether, has been agreed by the national body that represents anglers, Sportvisserij Nederland, the Cabinet Minister for Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, Carol Schouten, and other interested parties.
Under the terms of the ‘green deal’, they have agreed to make a strong commitment to discovering fully-fledged sustainable alternatives to lead, such as stone, glass or iron.
“The retail trade will advise on new, environmentally-friendly products and the lead-range will gradually be phased out,” said a press release announcing the agreement. “In addition, there will be a campaign to inform sport fishermen about the disadvantages of lead and to point out suitable alternatives.”
The release notes that almost 1.2 million people in the Netherlands go fishing at least once a year. It adds: “Virtually every angler uses lead. Because of losses, an estimated 54,000 kilos of lead is found in freshwater every year and another 470,000 kilos in the sea and coastal waters.
“Lead does not belong in the environment. It is dangerous for humans and animals. In addition, there are direct health risks associated with the use of lead – especially those fishermen who pour lead themselves and run the risk of inhaling toxic fumes.”
In 2015 EFTTA, with the support of nine fishing organisations across Europe, including Sportvisserij Nederland, called on the fishing tackle trade and the angling community to voluntarily reduce the use of lead weights to a minimum and use them only where there are no suitable alternatives.
It also proposed that lead weights heavier than 0.06g should be made from suitable alternatives.