Anglers step up for Clean Up Australia Day

Image: Inland Waterways OzFish River Repair Bus.

THE stage is set for what could be the biggest Clean Up Australia Day in the event’s 30-year history with news that the nation’s largest community-based environmental event, has the backing of Australia’s fastest growing recreational fishing movement, OzFish Unlimited.

OzFish will be hosting a number of events across four states and preparations are already underway to mobilise hundreds of volunteers to help clean up harbours, beaches, rivers, lakes, dams, recreational areas and national parks.

Their efforts will remove tonnes of waste from the fishing environment including plastics, e-waste, tyres, trolleys, mattresses, bottles and cigarette butts to dead fish and other aquatic species.

OzFish Unlimited, founder and CEO Craig Copeland said the vision of Clean Up Australia Day’s founder Ian Kiernan, was to see all Australians help fix up, clean up and conserve our environment.

“Ian’s legacy was to inspire Australians to lend a hand to create cleaner waters and a healthier natural environment for future generations – a mission that OzFish proudly shares and our army of recreational fishing volunteers are ready to fly that flag next Sunday,” Copeland said.

Chairman of Clean Up Australia Day Pip Kiernan said that over the past 30 years, 17.7 million Australians have donated more than 35 million volunteer hours, removing the equivalent of 365,000 ute loads of rubbish from over 185,000 sites across the country.

“It’s wonderful to see groups like OzFish step up to address the environmental impact of waste,” she said. Mr Copeland warned the day may be an emotional experience for all participants once they confront the devastation and debris that drought, bushfire and flood has left within fire-affected areas.

“The irony of this year’s clean-up hasn’t been lost on our volunteers but for children, passionate anglers, conservationists and like-minded groups… they may be seeing the full impact to our waterways for the first time,” he said.

With more than 30 years’ experience of working in habitat rehabilitation, Copeland described as heartbreaking the mounting number of fish kills – some occurring in waterways normally regarded as safe-havens for fish.

To register for Clean Up Australia Day visit and to join our team of OzFish volunteers head to or phone 1800 431 308.

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