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After several e-mails I am once again, featuring the problem of rubbish left by anglers, spoiling some wonderful fishing venues. I know the angling clubs, both Spanish and Ex Pat, are doing everything possible to promote clean fishing environments but still the hardcore offenders seem to persist. Fishing is being banned from many beaches now due to the problem of anglers leaving potentially dangerous litter behind. A sharp hook left in the sand could cause serious injury, not only to adults, but think about a child playing in the sand. Discarded fishing line gets caught up in birds wings and feet. It is so simple to just cut the line into short lengths and put it in a carrier bag for the bin later. A particularly angry e-mail arrived last week from Jukka Kujala after he had visited Playa Del Castellar just outside Puerto De Mazarron. Fishing has been banned on the neighbouring beach of Playa Grande and judging by Jukka’s picture it will not be long before the ban is extended. This ruins it for everyone and it is extreme selfishness by those who insist on leaving such a mess. Do they do this in their own homes I wonder? Just throw rubbish on the floor hoping someone else will clean it up!

Another potential problem can be, although very rare, Leptospirosis or Weils disease as it is known. It is something I have experienced and believe you me it is a frightening and life threatening illness starting off with flu like symptoms. It is spread through rat urine and when litter is left lying around it is inevitable that some vermin will find it. The water washes over the litter and the water can be carrying the disease. So it is not advisable to wash your hands in the lake or river water and then touch food. I take food wrapped in either cling film or foil and hold the food by the wrapping. Also if you touch the litter to tidy up, without suitable protective gloves on, the risk is high. The answer to this problem has to be education through fishing clubs and the media. I am tired of explaining to visitors I take fishing to the stunning settings we have here why there is litter everywhere. At all the venues I visit regularly bins are situated all over so it is not difficult to dispose of their days fishing litter. The Rods & Reels Fishing Club started a policy last year of topping up there rubbish bags when they had finished fishing to start making a difference and a cleaner, safer environment. It is working well and it may well have made an impact on fellow anglers who see their action making a difference. So remember clear your own litter up and take it to a bin - this then may encourage others to do the same.
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