Danger­ous find on the beach

Coastal News - - Coastal News - By ALI­SON SMITH

A pleas­ant walk on Whanga­mata¯ beach led to a dis­turb­ing dis­cov­ery by Graeme Casse.

Graeme no­ticed a small length of fish­ing ny­lon¯stick­ing out of the sand at the Otahu Es­tu­ary end of the beach and tugged on it to re­veal a large, sharp fish hook still at­tached. It was not long be­fore he un­cov­ered an­other dan­ger­ously sharp and rusted large fish hook also lurk­ing below the sand and at­tached to ny­lon.

“They ap­pear to have come from a kon­tiki long­line fish­ing sys­tem and th­ese are get­ting pop­u­lar,” he says.

He is warn­ing peo­ple to look out for th­ese hid­den dan­gers, par­tic­u­larly as the beach is used for longlin­ing sys­tems, where up to 25 hooks can be put on a line, ac­cord­ing to cur­rent reg­u­la­tions.

“You re­ally wouldn’t want to stand on th­ese. They are ex­tremely sharp. I think peo­ple need to be alerted to the fact that they shouldn’t just walk past ny­lon if they see a loop of it in the sand. There’s gen­er­ally some­thing on the other end of it.”

The two hooks were found on only a small por­tion of the beach, and in wet sand at low tide.

Graeme says fish­er­men us­ing rods would know if they have lost a hook, how­ever peo­ple us­ing long lin­ing sys­tems from the beach at night might be less aware, though should still try to be re­spon­si­ble for any lost hooks.

PHOTO / SUP­PLIED

Graeme Casse shows the sharp hooks he found lurk­ing un­der the sand on Whanga­mata Beach.

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