EFTTA has hired an expert before EFTTA forms a response to the report published by the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) “A review of the available information on lead in shot used in terrestrial environments, in ammunition and in fishing tackle” (1). The report is ECHA’s response to a request by the European Commission to collect information “on potential risks of other uses of lead for hunting in terrains outside of wetlands, for target shooting outside of wetlands, and in sinkers and jigs for fishing.” The report comes as an addition to another ECHA report delivered to the European Commission on 17 August “proposing a restriction on gunshot for shooting with a shot gun within a wetland or where spent gunshot would land within a wetland.” (2).
Angling tackle is not included in the scope for the first report concerning lead in shots in or over wetlands. But the latest report includes, as the title says, “..lead.. in fishing tackle”. Furthermore, the new report extends the geographical scope to concern all terrestrial areas outside wetlands - but not the sea it seems. The purpose for an eventual restriction is to avoid or diminish lead poisoning of various species in terrestrial areas, including predators and scavengers affected through secondary poisoning.
The report gives reference to EFTTA’s position statement on lead from 2015 in which EFTTA “calls on the fishing tackle trade and the angling community to voluntarily reduce the use of lead weights to a minimum and to use them only where there are no suitable alternatives.” (3).
EFTTA’s position statement was given at the time as a warning to the industry that the use of lead is continuously and increasingly under attack via international conventions, the EU and Member States. Also, the lead discussions often are more emotionally than facts driven, which makes it a daunting and time-consuming task for EFTTA and the industry to be occupied by time and again. This is reflected in the EFTTA position:
“The Convention on Migratory Species, COP11, adopted on the 9th November 2014 “Guidelines to Prevent the Risk of Poisoning of Migratory Birds”, which includes the chapter “Recommendations: Lead fishing weights“.1 The chapter contains both legislative and non-legislative recommendations to reduce the use of lead sinkers. EFTTA does not agree with all and every detail in the proposed recommendations but EFTTA wish to be pro-active by promoting this position to recreational anglers and the fishing tackle trade...”
EFTTA expects to receive our hired expert’s report before the end of October. Thereafter EFTTA will send a response to ECHA, the European Commission and the Member States.
(1) ECHA press release and report, 12 September: https://bit.ly/2OgYTx3
(2) ECHA report on ‘lead in shots in or over wetlands’ https://echa.europa.eu/previous-consultations-on-restriction-proposals/-/substance-rev/17005/term
(3) EFTTA position statement - on angling lead weights (sinkers), June 2015: www.eftta.co.uk/media-centre/news/eftta-position-statement-on-angling-lead-weights-sinkers