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Help Prevent Seabird Entanglement

Bird with hook

Photo Credit: Roger Newell

Florida is known for providing exceptional fishing opportunities along greater than 2,000 miles of tidal shoreline, giving Florida the title of “Fishing Capital of the World.” Each year, monofilament fishing line and other fishing tackle enter into our coastal systems when anglers snag vegetation, marine debris, and coastal animals, including seabirds, sea turtles, and marine mammals. Monofilament and fishing tackle left in the marine environment create potential traps for unsuspecting wildlife that become entangled or snared, leading to injury and death. To reduce the risk of entangling seabirds and other coastal wildlife, follow these rules:

Entangled birds carry line back to roosting and nesting sites, where it poses a threat to other birds in the area.

Photo Credit: Mac Stone

1.   Please don’t feed pelicans and other seabirds. Feeding seabirds causes them to congregate in areas where they are more likely to get hooked or tangled in fishing line. Feeding pelicans is prohibited by law (F.A.C. 68A-4.001).

2.   Discard fish carcasses in marked repositories or lidded trash cans.

  •  Birds will feed on carcasses tossed in the water, which can lead to injury or death.  Fish carcasses often are larger than the bait fish that birds normally feed upon, and the larger bones and spines can puncture the bird’s throat or digestive tract.
  • Birds attracted by fish carcasses may congregate in areas where they are more likely to become entangled in fishing line.

3.   Cast away from birds and shoreline vegetation.

4.   Collect and store loose monofilament line until it can be discarded properly.

5.   Keep bait buckets covered.

6.   Take unused bait home.

7.   Let other anglers know how to prevent bird entanglement.

If you are interested in placing signage at your pier, marina, or other fishing location, please contact your regional office for more information.