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Fishing line can cause problems for environment

(From houmatoday.com) The Monofilament Recovery and Recycling Program is a local effort to educate the public on the problems caused by monofilament line left in the environment. The program hopes to encourage recycling through a network of line recycling bins and drop-off locations, and to conduct volunteer monofilament line cleanup events.

Because it is thin and often clear, it is very difficult for fish, crustaceans, birds and animals to see, and they can easily brush up against it and become entangled in it. Once entangled, they may become injured, drown, get strangled or starve to death.

Most fishing line that you can buy today is made of monofilament. It is a single-strand, strong, flexible plastic that is clear or tinted in a variety of colors. Most monofilament is non-biodegradable and can last many years depending on environmental conditions.

Many animals also ingest fishing line. One recovered sea turtle was found to have consumed 590 feet of heavy-duty fishing line. Monofilament fishing line also can foul propellers and shafts, decreasing speed and increasing fuel consumption. It can even damage the gear-case seals of an outboard motor, causing expensive repairs

Most of the fishing line that ends up in the water gets there when someone’s hook gets snagged on something underwater and the line breaks when pulled. Sometimes the line will rub against a sharp shell — like an oyster shell — and will break. Large fish can sometimes pull hard enough to break lines. Sometimes fishing lines get caught in trees and break off there.

Even fishing line that is thrown in the garbage bin end up in the environment, either by blowing out of the garbage bin or landfill or by being taken out by birds or animals.


(By David A. Bourgeois)

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