Is Magnet Fishing Illegal

Is Magnet Fishing Illegal? Yes But Be Aware of This Point

By Sophia the SeaMonster on Dec 31, 2022

The excitement trigger for a traditional angling fisherman and one doing it using a magnet is the anticipation of coming home with something desirable. But those who’re into magnet fishing have higher excitement levels due to their curiosity about the possible finds they might pull out of the water.

If you’re already a magnet fisherman or starting it from scratch, the act may put legal penalties upon you due to the possible laws and restrictions on how, when, and where to magnet fish and how to do it safely.

I realized I must check for this when the magnet fishing-driven ‘curiosity of the unknown’ raised a bit more. But the main trigger for me to do the research is ‘you’ as a magnet fisherman. I dived into the research world and pulled out the useful information below for you.

What is Magnet Fishing?

You must revise it - if you like it - magnet fishing is the act of searching in the outdoor waters ferromagnet objects using a magnet. The magnet fisher uses a large, powerful magnet attached to a long, durable rope and throws it into the water.

Magnet fishing typically appears as a hobby and combines environmentalism and treasure hunting. This is thought to be initially started by boaters using large magnets to retrieve fallen keys or other metal tools. Also, the main point of magnet fishing as a hobby was to search for metal objects such as coins, money boxes, guns, bombs, grenades, knives, and other discarded objects to pull them out and melt them to create something new and valuable. But as it sought the treasures’ attention, it turned to find something more valuable and rare.

Is Magnet Fishing Illegal?

I found out that magnet fishing is legal in almost all countries of the world. If you’re particularly asking for the U.S., there are no laws restricting magnet fishing in any state there. However, if the threats are getting more noticeable, it could be illegal in any condition. So staying up to date is better to save you from legal penalties.

This hobby may be a huge concern if you’re residing in the UK.

Is Magnet Fishing Illegal in the UK?

Yes, there are very strict rules against magnet fishing in all areas around the UK.

If you ask British Waterways (currently known as Canal and River Trust), they’ll tell you nothing in the first place except shooting a straight line as “we don’t allow magnet fishing as it can be extremely dangerous.” They also don’t allow it in general public areas or waterways that they control themselves.

The trust’s General Canal Byelaws of 1965 states, "No person unless authorized by the Board on that behalf or otherwise legally entitled to do shall: (d) Dredge or remove coal or other material from any canal.“

What I conclude is the moral of the story is that there are two reasons why magnet fishing is illegal in the UK.

First, almost all the water lands or bodies are owned publicly, and the remaining ones are under the control of the respected Canal and River Trust.

If you still want to do magnet fishing in any owned Waterland, you’ll have to take the owner’s permission and agree to the terms and conditions they set.

If I were a UK citizen, I would have always wished to be in the U.S.!

The Dangers of Magnet Fishing

  • Some environmentalists believe that the strong pulling force of powerful magnets can stir up harmful sediments in the water that can be toxic for life and ‘swimmers’ underwater!
  • You’re most likely to pull out dangerous objects like loaded guns, unexploded grenades, etc.
  • Removing sharp and heavier metal objects from the magnet can harm your hands/fingers.
  • Since ferromagnetic objects are most likely to be heavily rusted, you’re at a higher risk of infections if you have any cuts on your body.
  • You must always be tetanus-vaccinated before going for the magnet fishing venture. Missing out on it can pose a serious health risk.
  • You may be at risk of drowning.

In Conclusion

Pretty clear is the fact that whether magnet fishing is legal or not, it’s still worth trying - and continuing - but with the necessary safety precautions arranged. I wish you the best of luck if you’re residing in the U.S. and hoping for ‘rules’ flexibility, my dear British ones!

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