Marine Debris Prevention Tips

Texans can help keep our waters and shorelines clean by following some simple best practices. It is easier and less costly to prevent marine debris than to remove it from the environment. We can all do our part to reduce our use of single-use plastics by choosing reusable items for our fishing activities and in our daily lives whenever possible. Anglers, boaters, and fishing guides can follow these tips to help conserve their coastal environment and reduce the amount of marine debris originating from Texas fisheries.

Tips for Anglers and Boaters

  • Have a system for containing garbage onboard your vessel so that it doesn’t get blown overboard
  • Never throw trash or fishing line in the water
  • Retrieve and dispose of any floating trash you see, if safe to do so
  • In cases where plastic packaging is unavoidable, such as when purchasing new fishing equipment, remove the packaging and dispose of it on land before getting on your vessel to reduce the chances of the plastic becoming marine debris
  • Always dispose of used monofilament fishing line in a monofilament recycling bin located at boat ramps, piers, and tackle shops throughout coastal Texas. See the Texas Monofilament Recovery and Recycling Program for more information
  • Secure all belongings on your vessel so they don’t blow overboard while the vessel is in motion
  • Carry water or coffee in a reusable bottle or cup so you don’t have to buy drinks in disposable containers at work, school, or when traveling
  • Consider using reusable items such as tote bags, silicone food storage bags, and metal or silicone straws. There are sustainable alternatives to many commonly used household products

Additional Tips for Fishing Guides

  • Brief customers and guests on environmental principles to get them interested in the local ecosystem, such as the species and habitats you are likely to encounter on your fishing trip
  • If providing water to charter clients, consider using a large refillable dispenser and encouraging guests to bring their own reusable bottles to reduce the number of plastic bottles being brought to the marine environment, where they have the potential to become marine debris
  • Explain why you are using any reusable products on your boat to engage with your clients and build your business’ reputation of being a sustainable one
  • Share your knowledge by teaching newer anglers and younger generations about marine debris and environmental stewardship practices