We got a sobering reminder of the dangers of disgarded fishing line to Suncoast wildlife this past weekend. Beggar the dolphin was found dead and Mote Marine Lab scientists found several fishing hooks and line inside the animal. That's what makes a weekend event so important. On Saturday, volunteers will be collecting old fishing line, hooks and other items that could potentially harm our wildlife.
There are all kinds of ways to enjoy Sarasota Bay and from land or the water, it's clear, we share it with a host of wildlife. These animals depend on it for their survival. On Saturday, dozens of volunteers will will try to make it a safer environment for those birds and marine mammals. Sarasota Bay Watch will lead the 4th Annual Monofilament Clean Up.
"This is a family fun event, last year I had boy scouts with me so it's young people, old people, we have some boat space, so we can get some people on boats, we have a few extra kayaks if somebody wants to be on a kayak and really even walking, you can get underneath bridges and get a lot of stuff that way too," says Sarasota Bay Watch volunteer Ronda Ryan.
Volunteers say it's remarkable how much old fishing line they find, just in a few hours. This was the haul from last year's event. "But there's a lot of stuff that gets tangled in the trees and unfortunately a lot of those are right around the rookeries, so it's in an area where a lot of birds are attracted to, so now you've got fishing line and you've got birds and that's a very bad combination," says Ryan.
The Monofilament Clean Up happens Saturday from 8:30 am until 12:30 pm. Every one will meet at the Sarasota Sailing Squadron on City Island and there will be a free lunch at the end. Save Our Seabirds will also be showing how to remove fishing line safely from a living sea bird. For more information, visit http://sarasotabaywatch.org.