Responsible Fishing Tips



1. Fishing near Marine Mammals & Seabirds

We all love seeing dolphins, seals, birds and different marine animals whilst out fishing or boating. They are an all important part of our marine ecosystems. Therefore it’s important that we take good care of them so that future generations don’t miss out on seeing amazing creatures in the wild.


– If a marine mammal or bird visits you when you’re fishing pull in your line and take a short break until they move on

– Watch all marine wildlife from a distance and never approach too close (50m minimum distance); they may not be as cute as they look if upset

– Trying to scare off marine mammals and birds by throwing things at them is illegal and pointless as it will only catch their attention and keep them around for longer

– Fishing or approaching seal colonies or haul outs is not the right thing to do (see the AMWRRO approach zones poster for more details)


2. Clean up after yourself

Fishing in beautiful locations is always enjoyable even if the fish aren’t biting! But no one likes seeing other peoples rubbish such as broken bottles, old fishing line and plastic bags. So make sure;

– You take all your rubbish with you (and anything else you may find)

– Secure all your rubbish while you’re fishing so it doesn’t blow any

– Don’t leave any old fish or bait behind

– The only thing you should leave behind is your foot prints


3. Catch and Release Fishing

You don’t have to keep every fish you catch and there are plenty of good reasons why we should put some fish back. They may not be of legal size, they may not be a type of fish that is good to eat, or, you may just catch more fish then you need

Things to remember when releasing your fish

– Get the fish back in the water as quickly as possible

– Wet your hands or landing net before handling the fish

– Try not to damage the fish or remove the slime from the fishes’ scales in any way whilst removing the hook (a wet towel can help properly secure the fish)

– If in a boat; place the fish back in the water and gently hold the fish by the tail in an upright position, gently move it back and forward until it gets the strength to swim away

– If on a jetty; return the fish to the water as gently and quickly as possible

– Do not feed your undersized fish to any marine animals as this only promotes human imprinting and encourages them remain close to you and others that may not like the close encounter and could potentially harm and or entangle the animal at a later time

4. Look out for injured marine wildlife

If you see a marine animal that is injured or in distress it is important that you follow the right steps to help. It could be entangled in fishing line or rubbish, hit by a car or boat, or, it could simply be somewhere it shouldn’t be e.g. like a seal walking in your street or a fresh turtle in the sea

Follow these steps;

  1. Write down or remember as much information as possible such as: what species you saw, is it injured, where is the injury on the animal, how it was acting, exactly where you saw it and what time you saw it
  2. Watch the animal from a distance (do not approach) while a friend or family member calls for help
  3. Contact the AMWRRO emergency number as soon as possible 08 8262 5452

5. Protecting Our Waterways

Protecting our waterways is important for maintaining a healthy fishery and it’s something we can all do every day either at home, school, work or while we’re out fishing.

Remember everything we put down the drain will eventually end up in our waterways. So make sure your house, school or workplace uses cleaning products that are not harmful to the environment and that we keep these areas as clean as possible.

Don’t let balloons or other objects such as plastic bags float off as they may eventually end up in our waterways and be mistaken as food by a marine animal

Be careful where you step as mangroves, sea grasses and other vegetation along riverbanks and sand dunes all help protect our waterways and therefore our recreational activities

Last but by no means lease – whatever you’re doing out on the water; stay safe, have a great time and don’t forget to take a camera!