The North Carolina Monofilament Recovery and Recycling Program

Team members assist this leatherback sea turtle to be freed from a deadly entanglement in an unattended fishing net.

When marine animals die from becoming entangled in discarded fishing line, we all lose. But we can greatly reduce the number of useless deaths with your participation on the NC Monofilament Recovery and Recycling Program. It’s easy, it’s convenient, and it’s the right thing to do.

Bottlenose dolphin calf showing lethal cuts from monofilament line entanglement that had wrapped from mouth to tail. Photo courtesy of NOAA fisheries, Beaufort Lab

Read Yaholo’s Story

Fig2 - The carcass of a 175cm (5.7') male bottlenose dolphin that came ashore on Roanoke Island, October 7, 2011.

Read Lionel’s Story

Monofilament Recycling

If you have ever witnessed an animal that has been entangled in improperly discarded fishing line or net, you understand why the monofilament recycling program is so important. Don’t leave your old fishing line on the beach, unsecured on the boat, or in the ocean. And when it’s time to get rid of it, look for one of the convenient recycling bins. Some fishing line thrown in the trash works its way to the top of the landfill and often finds its way back into the environment. With your help, we can greatly reduce the number of useless deaths of some of our most important marine species.

Look for the convenient recycling bins

Monofilament Recycling and Recovery Program volunteers have placed 48 recycling receptacles on beaches, piers, docks, boat ramps, marinas and at the best fishing supply retailers on the North Carolina coast. So far, volunteers have collected approximately 3,600 miles of discarded fishing line (as of November 2021). Please handle your fishing line responsibly and help ensure that our amazing coastal environment stays that way.

Two live pelicans entangled together in the same piece of monofilament fishing line. They were disentangled, released, and they flew away. (Photo by Keith Rittmaster, December 2005)

Two live pelicans entangled together in the same piece of monofilament fishing line. They were disentangled, released, and they flew away. (Photo by Keith Rittmaster, Dec. 2005)

This loggerhead sea turtle ingested fishing line and lost its front left flipper due to entanglement. (Photo by Craig Harms, NCSU)

This loggerhead sea turtle ingested fishing line and lost its front left flipper due to entanglement. (Photo by Craig Harms, NCSU)

You can help!

Volunteers Tom Kirmeyer and Nan Bowles installing a fishing line receptacle at Cape Lookout Point

Volunteers Tom Kirmeyer and Nan Bowles installing a fishing line receptacle at Cape Lookout Point.

Look for receptacles like this to deposit your used monofilament fishing line.

Look for receptacles like this to deposit your used monofilament fishing line.

What is monofilament line?

Monofilament line is single strand, strong plastic line in clear or tinted blue, pink, or green.

Monofilament line can be recycled!

Who recycles monofilament line?

The Pure Fishing Company (Berkley)
1900 18th Street
Spirit Lake, IA 51360.

How is monofilament line recycled?

Monofilament line is collected and cleaned of all hooks, leaders, weights, fishing lures and trash by volunteers. It is shipped to the Pure Fishing Company where it is melted down into raw plastic pellets that can be made into tackle boxes, fishing line spools, fish habitats and toys.

What damage does discarded line do?

Discarded fishing line causes injury and death to birds, turtles and marine mammals, such as dolphins, whales and seals. Line also tangles up boat propellers, causing motor damage.

 

What can you do?

Please ask people not to discard any plastic, and especially monofilament line in the ocean or on beaches. Contribute time or money to a recycling program or stranding network. Collect discarded fishing line when encountered. Encourage others to
do the same.

If you must throw away monofilament line, cut it into small pieces (6’’) so it cannot entangle any living organism, and dispose in trash can.

How long does monofilament line take to degrade?

Monofilament line takes approximately
600 years to degrade in the environment.

Spread the word!

Look for monofilament recycling receptacles at fishing piers, bait and tackle shops, dive shops and beaches.

Cumulative miles of recycled fishing line in NC