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Old 08-03-2007, 11:54 AM   #1
scubapro5
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Default Divers clean up piers hook, line and sinker

Divers clean up piers hook, line and sinker
Local divers and crews from UC Davis scoured the waters and removed miles of filament and nets from pier pilings.
By Josh Grossberg
Staff Writer

It's nearly invisible and all but weightless, but fishing line is also a hazard to sea life, birds and even humans when tangled pieces of it are left in the ocean.

To help clean up the dangerous litter left by anglers, a group of local divers and crews from the University of California, Davis scoured the waters of the South Bay and San Pedro this week and removed miles of filament and nets from pier pilings.

On Wednesday, they removed about 20 pounds of the nylon line - as well as other dangers like hooks. They removed at least three times that much off piers in Redondo Beach and Manhattan Beach on Monday and Tuesday, said Jennifer Renzullo, assistant director of the California Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project, a program of the Wildlife Health Center's SeaDoc Society.

It was started by Kirsten Gilardi, a veterinarian who focuses on marine life.

"She noticed a number of birds and marine mammals are dying due to entanglements," Renzullo said.

Sea lions and seals can become snared in the lines and drown or starve to death.

"What we're mostly concerned about is fishing line, but birds can ingest hooks, and lead weights are also dangerous," Renzullo said.

So far, the group has cleaned 16 piers in California. They are scheduled to do five more this year.

In addition to cleaning the tangled webs of nylon, volunteers placed small bins at each of the piers and are urging people to throw unwanted pieces of line into them instead of tossing them into the water, where they often become wound up among the pylons.
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