The deadly side effects of fishing

ducks in fishing line plum island
I hope this isn't the tragedy I first thought it was, but check out the fishing line wrapped around the duck's bill!

black duck fishing line 2
One can only hope the line is not wrapped around so tightly that it cannot eat. Even if the bird can eat, though, it would still seem likely that the duck is in danger. Can it fly with a nylon line dragging behind? A million things could go wrong!

gull fishing line
Less than 30 minutes later, we saw another bird tangled up in fishing line. This was a gull, and if anything the fishing line was more entrenched than the one on the duck had been.

gull fishing line 2
It is hard to see, but if you look closely you can tell that it is protruding from the bird's nostril and that there is about a foot of tangled line curled behind him.

gull fishing line closeup
My son tells me that fishing line is made to dissolve these days precisely because this happens to birds and animals so often. I just hope the fishing line dissolves quickly enough to save the lives of these birds!


  1. Oh no! I hope it's the type that dissolves too.

  2. Susan, thanks for calling attention to this problem. I make a point of picking up stray fishing lines whenever I see them, and if a fisherman is close by, point out the danger in a friendly manner. I photographed a brown pelican with a fishing line and sinker protruding from its beak; felt really sorry for that bird. I am glad to hear that new fishing lines are made to dissolve, but are they fast enough to save the bird?

  3. Great pictures with sad content. I see a lot of that here in Florida. I usually don't see it until a day later when I'm cropping a picture and notice it. There are people here that patrol the fishing piers looking for hooked birds to catch and take to a rehab place.


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