When left in the aquatic environment, because of snags or improper disposal, fishing line creates potential traps for unsuspecting wildlife that can become entangled and snared, leading to injury and death.
Monofilament is the most common type of fishing line, but it's not the only threat. Modern advances have produced several other varieties with higher tensile strength, reduced visibility and greater abrasion resistance. These newer, non-monofilament lines, such as braid and fluorocarbon, are fairly popular, but not all of them can be recycled like monofilament fishing line, and they are commonly disposed of improperly.
How you can help
To help reduce the negative environmental impacts from improper disposal of all fishing line and tackle, anglers can follow these general guidelines:
- Check line frequently for frays that may break easily.
- Don’t leave bait unattended since pelicans, herons and other birds may attempt to take the bait from the line, which may result in entanglements.
- Cast away from trees, utility lines, wildlife and areas where line may get caught.
- If you see improperly discarded fishing line while you are out, pick it up and stow it to be disposed of later.
Anglers can purchase or make their own fishing line storage bins to keep with them while they are fishing so that line can be stored securely and out of the way. Products such as the Monomaster and Line Snatcher are designed to help anglers store their unwanted fishing line; however, homemade versions can also be made by cutting an “X” in the lid of something as simple as a tennis ball container or coffee can.
Once on shore, monofilament and fluorocarbon line can be recycled in designated bins found at most boat ramps, piers and tackle shops. However, anglers should not use these bins to discard any other type of fishing line or leader material such as braid or wire. Also, the bins should not be used to discard any type of tackle, such as hooks, lures or soft plastics, which can injure other anglers discarding their fishing line or the individuals who empty the bins for recycling.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission provided the above information, as well as the following: