Every day, improperly discarded monofilament fishing line causes devastating problems for marine life and the environment. Marine mammals, sea turtles, fish and birds become injured from entanglements, or might ingest the line, often dying as a result. Human divers and swimmers are also at risk from entanglements and the line can also damage boat propellers.
The Monofilament Recovery & Recycling Program (MRRP) is a statewide effort to educate the public on the problems caused by monofilament line left in the environment, to encourage recycling through a network of line recycling bins and drop-off locations, and to conduct volunteer monofilament line cleanup events.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is monofilament?
Most fishing line that you can buy today is made of monofilament-a single-strand, strong, flexible plastic that is clear or tinted blue, pink or green.
Why is monofilament a
problem in the environment?
Most monofilament is non-biodegradable and can last hundreds of years depending on environmental conditions. Because it 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 in it. Once entangled, they may become injured, may drown, may become strangled, or may starve to death. Many animals also ingest fishing line. One recovered sea turtle was found to have consumed 590 feet of heavy-duty fishing line.
How does monofilament
end up in the environment?
Much 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 can end up in the environment-either by blowing out of the garbage can or landfill, or by being taken out by birds or animals.
Can all fishing line be
No, only fishing line that is a single filament, nylon product. Fishing line that is braided or contains wire can not be recycled. Fishing line that has a lot of growth on it or plant material mixed up with it may not be recyclable.
For more information concerning the Highlands County Monofilament Recovery Program contact the Highlands County Lakes Association.