It is an ordinary weekday when 7-year-old Kyano Markwat from Alphen aan den Rijn removes a gas cartridge from the water. Moments later he even fishes a bicycle out of the ditch with fellow townsman Sebastian Zonneveld (19). If it is up to Mayor Liesbeth Spies, this will soon no longer be allowed. She wants to ban so-called magnet fishing.
‘You clean up nature and it’s just exciting what you catch,’ says Kyano, who is occasionally helped by his parents in pursuing his hobby. His biggest catches to date have been a shovel and three bicycles.
Sebastian has been doing it for about seven years now. ‘What appeals to me about magnet fishing is that you never know what you will take. It is always a surprise. I fished entire scooters and safes, ‘he says. ‘You also help the police unravel riddles. That’s just great fun. And you clean the water for swimmers. How beautiful is that? ‘
Firearms and explosives
The Alphen police chief John Nieumeijer clearly thinks differently about this. ‘With magnet fishing you don’t always know what you are getting to the surface. We have now seen firearms and explosives surfacing. That entails a very great risk that something explodes or that a firearm could go off. ‘
For Mayor Spies, this is the most important reason for announcing a ban. Earlier this summer, for example, a hand grenade was removed from the Gouwe river in Boskoop. ‘The Explosives Ordnance Disposal Department has already said a few times: we have to wait until an accident really happens. Well, waiting is not my nature. So then we’d better actively try to prevent misery. ‘
‘Sad for little children’
The city council has yet to determine whether there will actually be a ban. But should it come to that, Sebastian Zonneveld will not stop magnet fishing. ‘I know other municipalities and places where it is allowed. But it would be very sad for all the little children and other people. Because your hobby is just being taken from you and I don’t think that’s possible. ‘