Having a chat with a few people today about this and with a quick but far from scientific poll
it appears lead is not a environment
problem when talking anchors.
The few people I asked all said grapnels and danforth pattern anchors are by a country mile the ones that get 'lost' mostly. I'd agree with that from what I see at the office. The number of anchors with lead in them that get lost
would be a very small %. Even then most is well or like the Spade totally encased and doesn't even come in contact with water
. I suppose after a while the 'casing' will rust/corrode out but big lumps of lead are very unlikely to be fish food
and it's pretty inert anyway.
The big problem is probably all the aluminium in galvanising, this applies to chain as well in many cases. The US has already and the EU is getting there fast with the removal
of aluminium from galvanising. Sadly the NZ and Aus anchor makers are probably a lot less environmentally nice than those from, say, the US or EU due to the fact they have alloy in their galv still. I'd say even china
is better for that as they do very low grade and thin galvanising but then the physical number they make kills that line a bit.
So at a quick guess one of the most environmentally not nice anchors is a Alloy Spade when talking materials used but then it is also one of the ones that leaves the least amount of physical bottom damage even if dragged. So assuming you don't lose it you are being nice to the world but if you do.... naughty you.
On a day to day basis, assuming you don't lose the anchor, many from the Sth Pacific who use anchors galvanised in NZ or AUS in the coral
sand zones are probably one of the worst. Coral
sand rips galvanising off real fast often, and skin off legs but that's another, quite painful, story.
Lose a lead filled anchor that has been galvanised in NZ or AUS on a coral reel and you are one very environmental nasty. But in the big scheme of things lost
anchors would be one of those 'too small to register' sort of things.
As for the environmental cost of production, which is a lot larger problem, I think china
loses that one hands down.