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25 Sep 2017
by CARPology
Is it time we used an alternative to lead?
Big opinions by key anglers on major events happening within carp fishing right now

The big question

Is it time that the lead manufacturers need to look at alternatives to using lead as a material for weights?

Simon Pomeroy (Pallatrax MD)

“Worldwide we have been warned of the dangers of lead in our daily lives and this very much includes fishing weights. Let’s face it, lead is toxic and has or is being banned in its various forms internationally, so why the fishing tackle trade believes it should be treated any differently is a difficult one for me to comprehend.

“As a trade, we have been warned by the CEO of the European Fishing Tackle Trade Association, Jean Claude Bel, that lead will be banned in angling within Europe at some stage in the near future. It is a fact that there are a number of alternatives already available to the trade, but the real issue is that they are viewed as too expensive to manufacture compared to the common lead weight.

“For those cynics out there that question my stance on this topic as a ‘flag waving’ exercise for Pallatrax’s Stonze weights, I can assure them they are far from the truth, as I care about fish and fishery welfare above anything else. For the industry to play Russian roulette over the possible negative effects lead loss could lead to is a serious concern for me and with the advent of lead ejection systems in recent times, that concern has rapidly grown.

“Alternatives are out there and as the protectors of our sport and with the knowledge that lead is a toxin, it is our duty of care to consider a change to the non-toxic alternatives before environmentally it’s too late.”

Mat Woods (Avid Carp)

“I’m not sure if enough has been documented about the long-term effects of lead toxicity on fish for it to be an immediate concern. Fish have other threats, much bigger ones than this issue. These are things we should be worrying about. Predation would be much higher on my list of concerns, from otters, cormorants and even humans – if we don’t act fast on these main issues, this topic we’re discussing right here is irrelevant.

“Another key area of concern is rig safety. Just recently I heard of another very big, special fish dying because it had been towing an unsafe rig around for some time. Despite being freed from its tangled web, it was too little, too late. A really sad story which shouldn’t happen in this day and age. Manufacturers do their utmost to make their tackle user-friendly and as safe as possible, but it’s still open to abuse – which is clearly going on.

“Losing leads is obviously something people in certain quarters are concerned about – that it will pollute venues – however the alternative is much worse and is more directly linked to fish deaths than lead poisoning. That is something quantifiable and tangible for fishery owners. Until there is more empirical evidence against lead, then the use of zinc alloys, plastics, stones or resins just isn’t relevant.”

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