Many types of wildlife are harmed by discarded fishing line, including birds, fish and even humans. However, almost any type of animal can be entangled in line or try to consume it.
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No, only fishing line that is a single filament, nylon product may be recycled. Fishing line that is braided or contains wire cannot be recycled.
It is best to always recycle fishing line. However, if you throw out fishing line you are still keeping it out of the environment, but make sure the trash receptacle has a lid and be sure to cut the line into lengths 6 inches or shorter. Once line goes to a landfill, longer pieces may be scavenged by animals trying to eat it or build nests out of it. Animals may become entangled and the line can be brought right back into the environment.
Most of the fishing line that ends up in the water is the result of a hook getting snagged on unintended objects such as rocks or tree limbs and the line breaking when pulled. Sometimes the line can rub against a sharp object and break. Additionally, large fish can sometimes break lines while they are being reeled in.
Even fishing line that has been thrown in the garbage can end up in the environment - either by blowing out of the garbage can, being taken out by birds for nest-building materials or removed by other animals. Some people also just throw the line right into the water when they are done with it.
Monofilament is not 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. They can easily become entangled resulting in injury, drowning, strangulation or starvation. Many animals also mistakenly ingest fishing line.
It is also difficult for people to see as well. People often drive their boats over floating line and damage their engines. Divers and swimmers can also be affected since they unable to see line when they are in the water.
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