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As a rule of thumb, fishermen put their fishing before the environment. It has been known for some time that lead fishing weights/sinkers are detrimental to the environment, effecting our waters, fish and bird life.  And we don't know what the future consequences of this will be.

Lead is a toxic metal that, in sufficient quantities, has adverse effects on the nervous and reproductive systems of animals. Found in most fishing jigs and weights, this metal is poisoning wildlife such as Swans, loons and eagles. When lead fishing weights are lost through broken line or other means, birds can inadvertently eat them. Water birds like loons and swans often swallow lead when they scoop up pebbles from the bottom of a lake or river to help grind their food. Eagles ingest lead by eating fish which have themselves swallowed sinkers.

A single lead weight and jig can expose a water bird to a lethal dose of lead. Sinkers and jigs weighing less than 50 grams or that are smaller than 2 cm, are most likely to be ingested. Where significant fishing activity occurs, water birds are at risk.

In addition to its impact on Water birds, lost lead weights and jigs create a burden on the environment. Other sources of lead to the environment (e.g. from petroleum, paints, pottery glazes, etc.) have been eliminated, as lead is toxic to humans and interferes with normal brain, kidney, and blood functions.

When made aware of the negative impacts that leaded fishing gear has on wildlife and the environment, most anglers appreciate the need for change.

In 1987 The UK restricted the use of lead fishing weights weighing less than 1 ounce.
In Canadian national parks and national wildlife areas, it is illegal to use lead fishing sinkers and jigs weighing less than 50 grams, a ban that went into effect in 1997.
In 2002, the Canadian House of Commons debated proposed legislation to expand the restrictions of lead tackle use across the country. In February 2004,Environment Canada—the federal agency in Canada responsible for environmental protection issues—announced its intent to pursue actions to prohibit the import, manufacture, and sale of lead sinkers and jigs.
In Australia, leaders have colourfully debated whether to restrict the use of lead fishing tackle. In October 2005, the New South Wales Legislative Council (state senate) discussed Canada's proposed restrictions and members of Parliament sparred over the severity of the issue.

In Denmark, companies are now prohibited from importing and marketing any product containing lead. Prohibitions for both sport and commercial fishing equipment were effective December 2002.

Making a fishing weight that can only help you catch fish is a huge step forward.  Using Diamond weights can only increase your catch. At the same time you are helping to save the environment.

© 2007 Diamond Weights
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