Hook, line and thinker

Hook, Line and Thinker is a fishing debris recycling program that aims to capture fishing litter before it ends up in metropolitan waters, where it causes significant damage to the fragile ecology of our aquatic environment.

The collaborative program with the cities of Onkaparinga, Victor Harbor and Holdfast Bay has installed fishing debris bins across the region. The bins are for fishing materials such as old fishing line, netting, sinkers, hooks and lures. Other items, such as bait and packaging, still need to be deposited in general or recycling bins.

Fishing debris collected in the bins will be recycled and turned into a range of new materials.

Bin locations

The bins are located at key fishing locations with eight in the City of Onkaparinga, along the coast and Onkaparinga River from Old Noarlunga to O’Sullivan Beach boat ramp. Four have been installed in the City of Victor Harbor at the Bluff jetty and boat ramp, Causeway boat ramp and screwpile jetty Granite Island, one in the City of Tea tree Gully at Wynn Vale Dam, and an additional four in the City of Holdfast Bay at Glenelg and Brighton jetties, Seacliff boat ramp and Glenelg Wharf.

The newly-installed bins with the City of Holdfast Bay are part of a project funded through a 2015 SA Recreational Fishing Grants Program. The City of Holdfast Bay installs and empties the bins; Natural Resources AMLR’s NRM Coast Estuary and Marine officer (hosted by the City of Holdfast Bay), along with volunteers, will regularly audit the debris and record the data. The debris is then recycled.

Natural Resources AMLR and the council ran two school holiday events in 2015, ‘Beach detectives’ and ‘Fishing at the bay’, to promote the project. Both were well attended with over 140 children joining in on the fun. FishCare and Reefwatch volunteers helped at the fishing event and the children took home a free fishing reel along with a greater understanding of how to fish sustainably and appreciate the marine environment.

Bin audits

Hook, line and thinker data from the City of Onkaparinga for 2013-15

Total debris collected = 7737 items (includes packaging, cigarettes etc)

Total weight of debris = 47.24 kg

Fishing and boating debris comprises 5306 items.

The main fishing and boating waste is comprised of:

  • 2282 hooks
  • 445 sinkers
  • 409 plastic fish attractors
  • 508 swivels
  • 118 lures
  • 24 km of monofilament fishing line.

Related links


City of Victor Harbor; City of Holdfast Bay, City of Tea Tree Gully, OceanWatch Australia Ltd.

Funding partners

City of Onkaparinga
SA Recreational Fishing Grants Program


Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges