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5 Ways to Fish Responsibly


Way 3: Don't be a Litterbug

Sea turtles and other wildlife may make the deadly error of mistaking trash for food.
Sea turtles and other wildlife may make the deadly error of mistaking trash for food.
Norbert Wu/Science Faction/Getty Images

Not only should you avoid leaving any of your gear behind, but you should also resist dumping any of your other belongings. Empty beer cans, lure packages ­and even gum wrappers spoil the environment, dirty the water and pose choking risks to wildlife.

The garbage left by a litterbug doesn't just impact the ecosystem; it makes your fishing spots unattractive and may lead landowners to close off the area to fishermen. Not to mention the fact that whatever trash fish eat, you end up eating, too. Mercury contamination from various sources of pollution is of such concern that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have issued recommended limitations on the amount of fish and shellfish people eat.

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