Lead could be banned from altogether from angling, it emerged today.
The European Union has voted to beef up water quality rules and phase out all lead from fishing equipment by the year 2015.
Jan Kappel, lobbyist with the European Fishing Tackle Trade Association said: “The European Commission is fully aware that lead disposal from angling is very, very small compared to the total of lead waste.
"And the Commission is fully aware that the relatively small amount of lost lead sinkers don't present much of a 'hazardous' to the environment. But this is politics.”
He added members of the EU Committee on Fisheries had already declared they were in favour of a ban, meaning anglers will almost certainly be forced to find alternatives.
Some sizes of lead shot were banned decades ago to protect waterfowl. Shooters have also been forced to load up with non-lead alternatives when shooting in some coastal areas.
But large leads such as bombs and other leger weights remain part and parcel of fishing for many anglers, while lead is also used in weighting lures both internally and to make jig heads.
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