Mar 16, 2008

Abandoned fishing lines kill

A sad report today on the bird ecology blog that another heron has been found dead, due to entanglement by fishing lines in West Coast Park.

In February this year, the bird ecology blog also reported a heron was found dead in Punggol Park after it ostensibly swallowed a fish stuck on the abandoned hook and line (photos at right taken by Daniel Koh and Chan Yoke Meng). Last year, a Buffy fish owl was entangled in fishing lines.

What can be done about this sad situation?

The Audobon South Carolina blog featured an article in January this year, about the impact of monofilament fishing lines on shore and seabirds.

Besides killing adult birds, the blog notes that "some birds will also use the fishing line as nesting material, which can lead to the death of chicks due to entanglement". The group there have a system for recycling fishing line.

They report that "once collected, monofilament fishing line is melted into reusable plastic pellets, which are then fashioned into tackle boxes, spools for fishing line, artificial fish habitats, and other plastic products. Between 1990 and 2006, over seven million miles of monofilament was recycled".

This is what a monofilament recycling bin looks like.

The US Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission also has a website about monofilament recovery and recycling. It has details on starting your own recycling program with specific guidelines and background materials.

The goals are..

Long-term goal 1: Heighten awareness about the negative impacts that fishing line debris has on human welfare, marine life, and water quality.

Long-term goal 2: Decrease the amount of fishing line entering and remaining in the natural environment.

Long-term goal 3: Increase the amount of fishing line being recycled.

This is achieved by...

Objective 1: Provide all the technical support needed for any interested organization to initiate MRRP.

Objective 2: Increase the number of tackle shops that are hosting Berkley line recycling receptacles.

Objective 3: Increase the number of outdoor recycling bins throughout the state.

Objective 4: Increase the number of monofilament line cleanup events throughout the state.

Objective 5: Distribute educational materials that include flyers announcing the recycling program that can be distributed with fishing licenses, business posters to share with participating tackle shops and partnering organizations, and brochures to share with targeted audiences at events and presentations.

The website has an FAQ, pamphlets, photos to download and lots of other information.

Some photos of animals affected by fishing line entanglement, from the gallery ...

Sea turtlesManateesDolphinsWhales

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