Fishing magnets at the service of the environment

Waste in waterways: a global problem

Did you know that ''Ten percent of the territory of Quebec is covered with fresh water.  With its tens of thousands of rivers and more than three million bodies of water, Quebec has 3% of the planet's renewable freshwater reserves, and nearly 40% of all this water is concentrated in the Saint-Laurent!'' - Source: Site of the Ministry of the Environment and the figth against climate change

According to a WWF article: ''Polution and litter left on riverbanks and shorelines does great harm to ecosystems, wildlife... and us too.  Water quality can deteriorate rapidly due to contamination, and the natural purification cycles of plants and animals living in these ecosystems are disrupted.  Animals risk getting caught in the garbage or ingesting indigestible or polluting products.  It brings dangers to people too, and economic damage to areas that depend on tourism or water-related industries, such as fishing'' - Source: WWF June 20, 2011 Le grand nettoyage des rivages Canadiens, ou comment garder nos cours d'eau propres et salubres

In all, 189 257 tons of pollutants ended in Quebec waterways last year, according to figures from Environment Canada.  Of this quantity, 9717 tons were released accidentally.


The oceans, streams and rivers have become veritable dumps

More and more municipalities now have programs and initiatives for the recycling of scrap and waste.  However, this was not the always the case.

Expensive fees to dispose of certain items and the lack of human resources have resulted in our waterways being neglected and becoming the dumping ground for municipal waste, sewage, obsolete metal parts, etc.

Metallic items being relatively heavy are found at the bottom of our lakes, rivers and streams and remain there for centuries.

In the long process of decomposition, they pollute our waterways and infect animals like fish, turtles, crabs, etc., which are in turn consumed by humans in large quantities.

This rust is toxic to fish and in large quantities can be fatal.  Removing these metals from our waterways can preserve our ecosystems.  Smaller, fragile fish live long enough to be eaten by larger fish, and those fish become food for something larger.

The diverse ecosystem of the smallest stream can be saved by removing these toxic metals.


How to participate in the cleaning?

Organizations like Mission 1000 tonnes have the mission to change the world by acting to protect marine and aquatic ecosystems by removing waste from the planet's oceans and waterways while working to promote the reduction at source of the various sources of waste.

The procedure is simple, collect your eco-compostable bag, pick up the waste on the edge of the rivers, weigh the weight of your filled bag, take a picture and send it to the Mission 1000 tonnes via its Facebook page or its Instagram account (indicating your full name, the weight, the place where you picked up your waste. - Source:

We too can make a huge difference by helping our municipalities clean up all the debris that pollutes our waterways.  Unfortunately, most cities and towns do not have the resources to clean up waterways.


Fishing magnets at the service of the environment

A hobby that started in Europe and is becoming increasingly popular in Canada is magnet fishing.

Equipped with super-powerful magnets, volunteers clean up the waterways.



To clean the oceans and rivers, volunteers fish out metallic objects using permanent magnets.  Little by little, throw after throw, so many pieces of scrap metal or unusual objects are removed from the bottom of the water and thrown into appropriate bins, when they cannot be recycled.

Bikes, scooters, car wrecks, safes, the water is cleaner, one piece of waste removed at a time.  Magnet fishing consist of fishing metal objects from rivers using a strong neodymium manget firmly attached to the end of a rope.  Pull strength ranges from a few hundred pounds to over a ton.

You can expect to fish anything that is ferrous like machine parts, furniture, household items, coins, toys, etc.  You can also find beer caps, fish hooks, nails, screws and pretty much every kind of object that people simply threw into the waterways because they were no longer needed.

In Europe, many have recovered treasures from the two world wars such as riffles and grenades.  These items are highly sought by collectors.


Pollution in waterways: a subject that concerns us all

Every day we are reminded to pay attention to the environment.  We only have to think of climate change, forest fires, the thawing of the poles etc.

We have a responsability to teach these values to our children.  Recycling our waste and cleaning up the planet is a gift we give to future generations.



Whether we do it within certain organizations or we do it ourselves as a volunteer, every action counts.

The magnet fishing process not only helps clean up the environment, but it can also earn you money.

With the rise in the price of metals, objects recovered throught magnet fishing can be sold for a good profit and then recycled, making the operation a small business practically possible and profitable.



Above sources:

Ministère de l'Environnement et de la lutte contre les changements climatiques : see


Environnement Canada :

Mission 1000 Tonnes :