The first Monofilament Cleanup Day will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 17, beginning at Save Our Seabirds, 1708 Ken Thompson Parkway.
The event is sponsored by Sarasota Bay Watch, Audubon of Florida and Save Our Seabirds, and aims to cleanup fishing line, which, when left behind, can become entangled on Sarasota Bay’s bird-nesting islands and shorelines, posing a fatal hazard to birds and other wildlife.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologists identify monofilament fishing line as the No. 1 killer of adult brown pelicans.
“The birds face increasing pressures from habitat loss, storm damage and predation,” said Mark Rachal, Audubon of Florida Field Biologist, in a prepared statement.
Birds usually become entangled in fishing line in one of three ways: They become hooked in the beak, gullet, wing or leg when pursuing an angler’s bait or lure. Second, because birds line their nests with fine materials, they sometimes collect discarded monofilament snarls. Lastly, fishermen sometimes cast lines near a bird colony and snag a mangrove. The fisherman cuts the line when unable to retrieve it, and the line hangs over the canopy and becomes an invisible snare.
“The monofilament cleanup is a great way for community members to get involved in helping the environment, all while spending a day on the water,” said John Ryan, president of Sarasota Bay Watch, in a prepared statement.
Volunteers are needed for the event. To register, contact Colleen Adler at 955-5333. For information, contact Kathy Meaux at 809-8858 or Mark Rachal at 813-623-6826.
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