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