Monofilament Recovery and Recycling Program
The Monofilament Recovery and Recycling Program (MRRP) was started by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission in 1999 and has spread throughout the world. The program has been adopted by 26 states and Audubon Nature Institute began Louisiana’s first form of this plan to give people an opportunity to preserve and protect our nature’s beauty.
PVC containers provide a place for people to discard their used monofilament fishing line, a common line used by anglers, that would otherwise end up in the environment. Once collected, the line is shipped to Berkley, a leader in fishing equipment manufacturing, who then melts the line to its raw form for use in the construction of tackle boxes, line spools and artificial reef structures.
In the environment wasted fishing lines pose countless threats to wildlife via entanglement, foul hooking or by being ingested. Animals such as birds, sea turtles, fish and marine mammals are found with injuries and deaths caused by monofilament encounters. These PVC containers have been placed in Covington, Slidell and New Orleans with more to come. Some of them will be adopted by local scout groups, bait shops and outfitters who will monitor their containers, empty the line, then send the contents to the Louisiana MRRP headquarters at Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. For all of the stations not monitored by local volunteer groups the responsibility of monitoring and collecting the line will rest with Aquarium husbandry staff.
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is part of a group of 15 aquariums working together on the Aquarium Conservation Partnership (ACP), aimed at reducing ocean and freshwater plastic pollution. “Locally, we will expand our monolament recycling program, and educate our visitors about the hazards of marine plastics,” said Aquarium Managing Director Rich Toth. “Nationally, ACP has identified specific strategies to increase protection of our oceans, protect threatened shark and ray species, and improve fishery sustainability.” The timing is critical; it’s estimated that by 2025, there will be one pound of plastic for every three pounds of fish in our oceans. “We’re proud to be one of the aquariums working to reduce sources of plastic across the globe,” said Rich.
For any questions, concerns or ideas to help this program please contact the Husbandry Department at (504) 378-2561.