Is Magnet Fishing Good for the Environment?

Is magnet fishing good for the environment?

Magnet fishing can be a fun way to get out into the fresh air and exercise. It can also maybe help you make a little money or catch some extraordinary artifacts. But magnet fishing doesn’t just help you. It also has a big positive effect on the environment. All of the metal that you extract is less metal that can injure people and wildlife. Left at the bottom of canals and rivers, waste leaks chemicals and pollutants into the water, harming marine life.

Submerged metal also poses other threats. Swimmers who stand on knives or sharp rusted metal can get large cuts and potentially even get gangrene. Fish can become tangled up in the metal and die. When you remove this metal you are doing a service to the environment and the people and animals that live in it.

Scrap metal

In built up urban areas, canals and rivers become dumping grounds, filled up with rubbish both purposefully and accidentally. At popular fishing spots, you might find knives, hooks or maybe even whole fishing rods. When magnet fishing in highly populated urban areas, you could be more likely to find bicycles, scrap metal and maybe even a motorbike or two. Scrap metal won’t be all you will find, however, you might find a lot of it, depending on where you go magnet fishing. Don’t worry though there will always be good finds no matter where you go magnet fishing.

What to do with scrap metal

The scrap metal you find needs to be dealt with somehow, and I think the best solution is to bring it to the scrapyard. They will usually pay you around 15c/kg. I recommend storing all of your scrap metal at your house, until you have enough to bring to the scrapyard. While you won’t make a fortune doing this, you don’t have to go too far out of your way to get it. All it takes is an occasional trip to the scrapyard.

If you can’t bring it to a scrap dealer, you have to find another solution. There are many ways to deal with this and it largely depends on the size of the items you find. Smaller finds can simply be placed in public bins if you don’t want to keep them. However, with larger items, you can run into problems while trying to dispose of them. It is worthwhile to ring your local council and ask them how they want you to do. Often you can leave the rubbish in a pile at the bank, notify the council about it and they will collect it and dispose of it correctly.

You should remember that you are doing the environment a service by removing all of the discarded material from it, making it more hospitable to both fish and people. You are transferring the waste from a dumping ground to somewhere that it can be recycled.

Other finds

Not everything in the rivers and canals could be considered rubbish. While you will remove a lot of scrap metal, there are also a lot of interesting finds hiding under the water. Don’t think that because you will remove waste from the water that that is all you will find. There are treasures lurking down there as well. Knives are relatively common, depending on the area, and safes can be found as well. These sharp finds and tools can be very dangerous for swimmers and fish. Removing them prevents them harming people or wildlife.

What to do with these finds

If in the chance you find something rare and you have no interest in keeping it, you can also make a little bit of money from it. People have found civil war artifacts, guns and cannonballs to name a few . Sometimes there will be people that want to buy your finds if you don’t want to keep them. You can make a significant amount of money if you find something very rare and want to sell it. That is if you want to sell it in the first place. These artefacts would look great in a display cabinet or on your mantelpiece. Much better than at the bottom of a canal, polluting the water.

What do you need

Magnet fishing is also good for the environment in another way. You need very little equipment to start magnet fishing. The only things that are absolutely necessary are some rope and a magnet, although a pair of rubber gloves would go a long way to making your experience safer and more enjoyable. The cost on the environment of these few items is much less than a hobby where you need a lot of equipment – cycling for example. The environmental cost vs reward is massive, just you, a piece of rope and a magnet can remove tons of waste from waterways while having fun in the process.


In short, magnet fishing is very good for the environment. It removes waste from waterways, while allowing you to enjoy the outdoors and search for treasure. You can even make money from the rubbish! Don’t think however that you will only find scrap metal. There are a lot of amazing finds such as knives and safes that are relatively common. You just have to go out and look for them. If you want to get into magnet fishing, check out our Ultimate Magnet Fishing Guide.