I'm down in Captiva Island Florida. As a member of the Executive Board for the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers, we were fortuate enough to enjoy the warm weather and fishing that this Captiva - Sanibel area has to offer while we are here for our winter board meeting.
There are many marinas on the island here and I visited several to check on the fishing. I noticed too that there is a lot of wildlife in this tropical area.
I was able to capture a few photos of a pelican that was resting on a dock. As I approached the bird, it was very noticeable that it was tangled up in some fishing line. The line was wrapped around his leg and around one wing.
There is no doubt that this bird fell victim to discarded fishing line that was tossed off a dock or from a boat. We as anglers and ones who enjoy and appreciate all that the outdoors has to offer must take the responsibility of cleaning up after ourselves and not littering.
Even if this was not intentional, meaning that some angler may have been snagged on something and his line broke, some effort should be taken to retrieve that broken line from the water. Since this harbor was well posted for no fishing, my guess is that someone threw the line in the water.
I thought it would be worth a try to remove the line from the bird's leg but it jumped into the water once I got a bit closer. Sadly, I feel confident that this pelican's life expectancy will be a bit shorter because of the tangled line that is limiting its mobility somewhat.
When you're on the water and have fishing line that needs to be disposed of, don't throw it in the water, on a deck or on the ground. Don't do it. Hold on to the line (or any other trash) until you can get it into a garbage can.
Don't litter. Keep our waters clean and wildlife safe.