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FWC Urges Proper Disposal Of Popular Fishing Line To Help Protect Wildlife

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State wildlife officials want fishing enthusiasts to know about the hazards of a certain fishing line that could injure and even cause the death of Florida wildlife.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Diane Hirth says one thing anglers can remember that will help wildlife is to properly dispose of what’s called a monofilament fishing line—very popular in the industry.

“And, you may say ‘why is that so important?’ We have a lot of wildlife that can get hurt, injured, entangled by fishing line. Species would include sea turtles, birds—particularly pelicans, bald eagles—manatees, dolphins,” said Hirth.

Hirth says there are recycling stations all throughout Florida.

“There’s usually a recycle bin near docks and piers,” she added. “If you’re out on a boat, just remember to stow it somewhere on your tackle or your garbage receptacle, until you get back home. So, it’s really just an incredible way to just like remind yourself to do something that seems so simple that can really help wildlife.”

If anyone sees an entangled animal, Hirth urges them to contact the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline.

“That’s 888-404-3922,” she continued. “We often can rescue an animal, if it is reported, whether it’s a sea turtle. Some people will report it when they see an eagle or a pelican literally hanging from a tree where they become so entangled in the fishing line that they’re dying basically because they’re just hanging there.”

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.