Causes of Marine and Coastal Wildlife Entanglement
Marine and coastal wildlife can become entangled or trapped in many items such as fishing line, crab traps, balloons with attached string, beach furniture and other types of marine debris. In addition, some of these items may be ingested, leading to further harm.
These sources enter the environment through various pathways. For example, storms may bring trash into the water, children or adults may release balloons into the atmosphere, and anglers may accidentally "hook" wildlife such as marine turtles and seabirds on their fishing line.
CWCI Efforts to Address Entanglement
The CWCI is a partner on the Florida Marine Debris Reduction Guidance Plan and works with local government agencies and non-profit organizations to increase awareness of the harm of behaviors that introduce marine debris into the environment and to promote clean-up events that remove marine debris.
In addition, the CWCI is targeting the entanglement of seabirds through its "Don't Cut the Line!" campaign. The primary goal is to educate anglers on how to unhook a bird that is caught on fishing line to prevent entanglement. The campaign has several other associated goals:
- Prevent congregation of seabirds in fishing areas by avoiding feeding them
- Promote best fishing practices to avoid hooking seabirds
- Provide information to anglers about what to do with injured seabirds
- Obtain more data on number of hooked and entangled birds
This campaign works closely with the Monofilament Recovery and Recycling Program, and the principles are applicable to other wildlife such as marine turtles.