Discarded fishing line is a great hazard to shorebirds. One thing you, as an individual, can do to help is to pick up any fishing line you happen to find on the beaches while birding. As you might guess, the popular fishing spots, such as those near jetties, have the greater concentrations of discarded fishing line. Because rocks frequently snag lines, the line remaining on the fishing reel is often discarded and replaced with a full-length line.
Over the years Ron Bourque has rescued three brant and a red-throated loon from fishing lines and hooks. He found a dead great black-backed gull on a runway of Floyd Bennett Field, in the summer of June 2000, with a fishing line attached. Ron is collecting information on the danger of discarded fishing line to birds.