Sunday fishing ban at Naples Pier considered successful, could be permanent

Published: May 19, 2022 4:10 PM EDT

A ban on fishing from the Naples Pier on Sundays could become permanent.

Earlier this year, the Naples City Council banned fishing on Sundays to protect pelicans.

The ban offers pelicans a day of rest and eases the stress at the Von Arx Wildlife Hospital.

Experts say fishing hooks and lines are the reason for shorebird injuries at crisis levels.

“I think all of this together has made a tremendous impact on the birds and their welfare,” said Joanna Fitzgerald, hospital director at Von Arx Wildlife Hospital.

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida said the pilot program is proving to be a huge success.

During Tuesday’s Community Services Advisory Board meeting, supporters pushed to make the ban permanent.

The Conservancy suggested the Sunday closure continue but make it November through April instead, which covers the migration period for birds.

“I understand but Sunday is a terrible day to ban fishing, it’s a family day,” said Jason Myers, of Naples.

“I don’t like the Sunday ban because for the working people in Naples, we only have two days off Saturday and Sundays so it takes one day out of the fishing,” said Jennifer Scarafile. “For instance, I’m taking today off from work just so I can come fishing. It’s crazy.”

Sundays were chosen due to the high volume of people visiting the pier.

The ban is not lifted just yet. It will be discussed during a city council meeting on May 31st.