The Monofilament Problem
Problems for Wildlife:
- Because the fishing line is thin and often clear, it is very difficult for birds and animals to see and they can easily brush up against it and become entangled.
- Researchers have documented over 60 fish species that have swallowed or become entangled in marine debris.
- Dolphins, manatees, and sea turtles may also ingest or become entangled in fishing lines.
- Hundreds of seabirds are rescued annually due to hook and line entanglements, and many less fortunate birds die.
Problems for People:
- Floating fishing line can get caught in boat engines, resulting in costly repairs.
- When surveyed, boat motor repair services in Northeast Florida indicated that approximately 25% - 30% of all repairs were associated with fishing line entanglement on the propeller or the shaft.
- Boaters have been hooked by fishing gear hanging from bridges.
- It is difficult for humans, as it is for wildlife, to see fishing line floating in the water or tangled up in the rocks. There are documented cases of swimmers & divers becoming entangled in fishing line, panicking, and drowning.
What is the Monofilament Recovery and Recycling Program?
The Monofilament Recovery & Recycling Program (MRRP) is a statewide effort to educate the public on the problems caused by monofilament lines left in the environment and encourage recycling through a network of line recycling bins and drop-off locations, and conduct volunteer monofilament line cleanup events.
Click here to visit the statewide MRRP website. The partners for the Cape Coral MRRP are the City of Cape Coral, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program.
Monofilament Recycling BinPhoto courtesy of Sea Grant
PVC recycling bins, pictured above, have been installed at popular fishing locations throughout Cape Coral. City residents will maintain each bin by emptying it on a regular basis, cleaning the line, and taking it to an indoor drop-off point. When a box at an indoor drop-off point fills up, it will be mailed to Iowa, where the fishing line can be recycled into new fishing gear such as spools and tackle boxes.
Click here to download a map (.jpg format) of recycling bin locations.
Photo courtesy of Sea Grant
How Can You Help?
- Be Line Consciouss - Consider the age and strength of your line. Keep track of all line you use. It is particularly important to take the time to remove fishing line from the mangroves if it becomes tangled there after miscasting. Small pieces of line cut from leaders can be stored in a mini monofilament recycling bin, available for no cost at City Hall and Rotary Park Environmental Center.
- Recover Fishing Line - Whenever possible, retrieve and properly dispose of any fishing line that you encounter.
- Recycle - Fishing lines cannot be included in your regular recycling bin but can be sent back to the manufacturer and recycled into new fishing gear. Recycle fishing line at a local tackle shop or an outdoor PVC recycling bin, which are posted at boat ramps and piers throughout the City. If the tackle shop you visit does not have a recycling bin, encourage them to participate in the program. If you must throw your used line into the trash, first cut it into lengths shorter than 6 inches. This will lower the likelihood of entanglement or ingestion by wildlife, as birds, small mammals or even wind can pull it out of a garbage pail or landfill.
Monofilament Recycling Brochure from fishinglinerecycling.org
For more information on this program, please contact:
Katie McBride, M.S.
City of Cape Coral