Tackling a danger to wildlife

In 2012, a young dolphin entangled in fishing line became a dramatic reminder of the dangers wildlife face from discarded fishing line.

Gizmo, a three-year-old calf who lived in the Swan Canning Riverpark with his mother Tupac, suffered life-threatening injuries as fishing line cut into his dorsal fin. Fast action by WA Water Police and Parks and Wildlife Service (then Environment and Conservation) officers saved his life.

His story inspired the Parks and Wildlife Service, along with project partners Keep Australia Beautiful WA, RecfishwestNative Animal Rescue and WA Seabird Rescue to take action to prevent other wildlife suffering the same fate. Reel it In is a key initiative to help protect local wildlife from the dangers of discarded fishing line and bait bags.

Discarded fishing line, hooks, lures and other tackle have the potential to kill dolphins, birds and other wildlife. Birds and marine life can drown, lose limbs, starve or die if they become entangled or from infections caused by hook and fishing line injuries.

Rescuers like WA Seabird Rescue deal with entangled birds on a weekly basis, and three Riverpark dolphins have died as a result of injuries caused by fishing waste in the last five years. 


The Wildcare Helpline provides a service for the public who find sick or injured native wildlife and are seeking advice on where to find care for the animal.

If you've found injured wildlife, call the Wildcare Helpline on (08) 9474 9055.



Photos by Richard Gorham and Halina Burmej