The Conservancy of SWFL warns anglers to be more cautious of birds when out fishing

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida is sending out a warning for fisherman to be aware because the bird populations are being harmed.

So much damage is being done that officials are sounding the alarm now, before it’s too late.

Since November, The Conservancy of Southwest Florida says they have admitted over 60 birds with injuries related to fishing lines. Many of those incidents happened right at the Naples Pier.

At the Vox Arx Wildlife Hospital, staff are taking care of brown pelicans injured by fishing line and fishing gear.

The Conservancy of SWFL says this happens because birds are diving for fish that have already been hooked on lines, so when the line gets pulled up, the bird gets caught.

They say they know this isn’t intentional, but they encourage anyone fishing to take precautions.

“People need to be aware of their surroundings at the pier, notice if a bird is nearby— trying to watch when they’re casting to make sure that if there is a bird, wait for it to fly by and pass before you cast your line,” said Joanna Fitzgerald of Von Arx Animal Hospital.

The Conservancy of SWFL also recommends stronger equipment like fishing lines to help prevent those injuries from happening.

Reporter:Brea Hollingsworth
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