Discarded Fishing Line
Kills Wildlife!

Little thought is given to snipping monofilament fishing line line when it gets tangled in shoreline trees and shrubs, or when it becomes snagged on submerged vegetation. A typical response is “Darn, that was my favorite lure!”

Monofilament fishing line is by far the most dangerous kind of debris encountered by wildlife.

Discarded fishing line routinely entangles and kills birds, fish, turtles, frogs, and small mammals; and the hooks that are attached to the snagged line cause internal bleeding if swallowed. And if the hook is embedded in the tongue, which is typical, it prevents the animal from eating, leading to starvation until death finally occurs. Both common and protected species of birds are found with fishing line tangled around their legs, wings and beaks. And many have been found hanging upside down in trees, exhausted after hours of struggling to extricate themselves.

The restricted ability of entangled wildlife to move leads to drowning, starvation, vulnerability to predators, infections and even limb amputation as the animal struggles against the line or embedded hooks.

Monofilament line is not biodegradable. It therefore presents serious environmental hazards for years to come: it relentlessly imperils, not only river wildlife, but even tubers and swimmers, and it gets caught in propellers and damages outboard motors.

Retrieve all snagged monofilament line wherever you fish, whether yours or others, and dispose of it properly in trash containers.

If a [Monofilament Recycle Bin] is not available, cut the line into six-inch long strands before it is deposited in a trash container, just as one should cut up plastic six-pack rings that also kill many wildlife.


A Great Blue Heron with its tongue entangled by line
PHOTO CREDIT: Florida Wildlife Hospital and Sanctuary
The wing of a marine bird entangled with fishing line
PHOTO CREDIT: In Defense of Animals
A Cormorant hanging in the trees by fishing line
PHOTO CREDIT: George Cathcart
A Sea turtle entangled in ropes and fishing line
PHOTO CREDIT: Chris Johnson
See this Reference Guide to recycling monofilament fishing line entitled “Reeling in Marine Debris” (pdf download)
Visit the Florida Wildlife Commission to learn about its Monofilament Recovery and Recycling Program

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