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May 24, 2004
Aquatic Life on the Line With Monofilament Recycling
AUSTIN, Texas — Snagging that monofilament fishing line on the submerged tire or seaweed is annoying at the very least, but it can also be deadly to the birds and aquatic animals that might get entangled in the line. A new recycling program aims to help clean up Texas shores of unsightly fishing line snarls and everyone can help.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is supporting the new Texas Sea Grant’s program calling for volunteers to set up and periodically clean out collection bins where people can recycle used fishing line.
Fishing line from a single, all-nylon filament can be recycled as long as it is not too contaminated with growth or plant material. Volunteers sort trash, hooks, leaders and weights from the line and send it to the Berkley Pure Fishing Company in Iowa, which melts down the line into plastic pellets that can be made into products from toys to tackle boxes.
"We are asking that our volunteers monitor the bins at least once or twice a month, weigh the monofilament and send that data to the Sea Grant office," said Ann Miller, TPWD Aquatic Education Coordinator. "When they collect 3-4 pounds of monofilament, they can send it off to Pure Fishing to be recycled."
Sea Grant’s John O’Connell is working to push the program from the coast to inland rivers and lakes. "I think what’s really interesting is that everyone I’ve come in contact with has really been supportive," O’Connell said. He has seen more than a dozen collection sites go up in one weekend.
Anglers who throw fishing line in the trash are encouraged to cut it down into lengths less than a foot each to shorten the chance of an animal becoming entangled in the line. The line can’t be recycled with normal plastics at home through city curbside recycling programs, but several drop-off boxes are being placed outdoors and in tackle shops around Texas.
"If people don’t see a recycling bin and would like to establish one, we can help them get one set up," Miller said. "Some tackle shops would be happy to set up a bin if they knew about the program. If people will help spread the word, then we can get more bins set up around the state."
To send cleaned monofilament line directly to the Pure Fishing Company (1900 18th St., Spirit Lake, IA 51360-1041), visit the Web (http://www.berkley-fishing.com/home.cfm) or call (800) Berkley for more information. Those interested in volunteering to host collection bins or clean out collection bins should visit the Web (http://mrrp.tamu.edu) or contact O’Connell at Sea Grant at (979) 245-4100. Program brochures are also available from Miller, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (512) 912-7025.
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