Tackling a danger to wildlife


In 2012, a young dolphin entangled in fishing line became a dramatic reminder of the dangers wildlife face from discarded fishing line.

Gizmo, a three-year-old calf who lives in the Swan Canning Riverpark with his mother Tupac, suffered life-threatening injuries as fishing line cut into his dorsal fin. Fast action by WA Water Police and Department of Parks and Wildlife (then Environment and Conservation) officers saved his life.

His story has inspired the Department of Parks and Wildlife, along with project partners Recfishwest, Native Animal Rescue and Keep Australia Beautiful, to take action to prevent other wildlife suffering the same fate. The fishing line bin project is a key initiative to help protect Riverpark wildlife from the dangers of discarded fishing line.

Discarded fishing line, hooks and other tackle have the potential to kill dolphins, birds and other Swan Canning Riverpark wildlife. Birds and marine life can drown, lose limbs, starve or die if they become entangled or from infections caused by hook and fishing line injuries.

Rescuers like Native Animal Rescue deal with entangled birds on a weekly basis, and three Riverpark dolphins have died as a result of injuries caused by fishing waste in the last five years. In more recent time, in December 2015 two dolphin calves were also photographed with fishing line entanglement.

Since the Fishing Line Bin project (also known as the Reel it In campaign) was launched in December 2013, we've removed over 44.5km of fishing line, 7600 hooks and sinkers, 6600 bait bags, hundreds of other fishing recreational items and thousands of items of general rubbish from the Riverpark.

Download the Reel It In flyer (1.75 MB)


Photos by Richard Gorham, Halina Burmej and Miranda Jackson