You may have noticed the 30 new signs skirting the Prospect Park shores explaining the fishing rules. This is due to the work of the Prospect Park Alliance. The alliance is in charge of restoring and maintaining Prospect Park for the public’s enjoyment. After birds were continually found injured or dead due to discarded fishing line and hooks, the alliance acted to enforce rules and educate the fishing community on best practices that would ensure safety for the park’s bird population. The NY Times reported Emily Lloyd, the alliance’s president, as commenting, “we don’t want wildlife to get hurt; we feel very strongly about that.” She continued to say, “we may not get perfect compliance, but over a year or two, I think you can accomplish a lot in changing people’s behavior.”
This is not an easy fix. Most of the fishing line and hooks that are left behind happen because lures or hooks get snagged in weeds or trees. Dan Mundy, vice president of environmental group Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers suggested, “Bait shops could put up signs.” He continued by saying, “Most fisherman believe in the environment and enjoy being out there. A lot of times I think it’s just something that goes unrecognized.” The Prospect Park Alliance has already started a program to educate the community on the importance of discarding harmful fishing line and lures.