Why are lead fishing sinkers bad for the environment?



  1. 0 Votes

    Beacuse lead is a toxic metal that has adverse effects on the mammal’s and bird’s nervouse systems.  in freshwater environments where fishing is popular, several species of waterbirds are vulnerable to lead poisoning from the accidental ingestion of lead fishing sinkers. This metal is poisoning wildlife such as loons and eagles, bay diving ducks, surface feeding ducks, sea ducks, wading birds, geese and brants.


  2. 0 Votes

    It is suggested that the Northeastern Loon may mistake the anchors for small stones which it normally ingests to help grind crustaceans and fish bones in their stomachs. Although, since lures and mono filament usually accompany the lures in their stomachs, it is more likely that anchors are ingested along with crayfish and minnows which were attached to rigs which had been lost.

    Lead poisoning is also seen to be a prevailing factor in the death of swans.

    Lead anchors weighing less than half an ounce are currently banned in Canada, Maine, New York and three national wildlife refuges in the western United States.

  3. 0 Votes

    There have been significant fish die-offs in areas of concentrated lead poisoning (usually from mines or other things).  Though lead doesn’t seem to concentrate through the hierarchy / predatory chains, there is so much lead in many environments from mine tailings, thousands of pounds of lost bullets and sinkers, and other sources, that it leads to lead building up in fish’s hard tissues, like the teeth and bones.  The symptoms of too-high lead concentration in fish include anemia, blood poisoning, stunted growth in young, liver and kidney failure, and more.

    Many birds, though, suffer on a grander scale than fish because they ingest the lead directly.  Many waterfowl swallow the smaller sinkers for use in their gullets; in other words, they grind the sinkers up and release the lead.  Over 2% of total waterfowl deaths each year are directly linked to the birds ingesting lead objects.  In some bird species, like the North American Loon and the mute swan, the death rate due to lead poisoning is over 50%.  Large die offs due to waterfowl lead poisoning have been reported as far back as the 1800s.

    The predators who eat these birds and fish, such as the California condor, sometimes die from secondary ingestion as well.

    The evidence showing how harmful lead sinkers are to the environment is absolutely overwhelming.  It’s easily worth a little bit of extra money to buy alternative sinkers.

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