In the United States alone there are ~60 million anglers of which ~46 million are estimated to fish in a given year. Recreational fishing has a $115 billion dollar impact on the nation’s economy.
Artificial fishing lures are the 3rd most purchased item by anglers in the United States:
Most artificial fishing lures are made of rubber or plastic. Which we now know that both of those things left in our environment are not good for the wildlife nor for us long term. I did a video in January about why we should care about trash in freshwater.
In that video I explain a process called Photodegredation. This process occurs when plastic or – any waste – is broken down by sunlight. In chemistry when you add cold or heat to a single or multiple chemical elements you can change it. The same goes for plastic or any other element – altered or not – on this planet.
So, when we leave behind rubber or plastic in our marine environments they breakdown into something else. In the case of plastic and rubber – specifically fishing lures that are made from plastic and rubber – they contain warning labels that read: WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm
Not sure if most people catch that on their fishing lure package, but it’s there on just about every single brand’s packaging. In 1986 the state of California officially enacted Proposition 65 – which is officially known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986. The proposition protects the state’s drinking water sources from being contaminated with chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm, and requires businesses to inform Californians about exposures to such chemicals.
In the Maine state legislature in 2013 banning soft plastic lures was first introduced. This ban was based on a suggestion that fish were being harmed because soft plastic lures are discarded in or near the water and end up as litter.
According to the American Sportfishing Association website:
”Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (DIFW) studied the effect of soft plastic baits and lures on fish and concluded that a ban is not warranted. This recommendation was adopted by the state’s legislature. Despite evidence pointing to the harmlessness of soft baits, there is reason to believe legislative proposals to impose restrictions or a ban may reemerge.”
The website also reads:
“In 2017, the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and its members are continuing efforts to partner with local and national organizations and the DIFW to improve angler stewardship behavior and encourage proper disposal and recycling of fishing gear. ASA is staying vigilant of activity in the state legislature that would place restrictions on soft plastic lures.”
I’ll leave that whole statement up to you to decipher for yourself but I personally would prefer that our fish were not exposed to chemicals that cause cancer and reproductive harm. And I certainly would prefer that these fishing lures containing harmful chemicals do not end up in any body of water. We get our drinking water from there and the water that we bath in. It’s all connected. So there is no way that this is not having a negative effect. As I’ve said before, since I am a business owner and an entrepreneur, I am solutions focused type of a person. So here’s a multi billion dollar business idea for anyone who has the passion to pursuit it.
Let’s use some aquarium science and a vegan gummy bear recipe to create a biodegradable solution that can replace all rubber and plastic in fishing lures in general. In addition – just for funzies – lets give these fish a good, nutritious snack. So if they do consume the lure once they are released back into the water, they can have an easier time recovering.
I used a general vegan gummy bear recipe, garlic, fish flakes and edible glitter to create these fishing lures. I tested 3 different types of garlic and in an earlier test batch and I included some frozen Mysis Shrimp and some vitamins that I give my baby rescue sharks in their food. Check out the results in the video below.
If you would like to try this out on your own, you can download all of my notes, recipe changes and get the latest recipe here: https://www.aquapparel.com/biodegradable-fishing-lure-recipe-download/