fishingDolphins need your help. Serious and even fatal injuries from interactions with fishing gear and boats are on the rise. 25% of the stranded dolphins recovered in the Sarasota Bay died from ingesting hooks or lines or by becoming entangled in fishing line. Here are ways you can help prevent injuries to dolphins and other sea life.

  • Never feed wild dolphins. It is harmful and illegal under the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act. Feeding teaches dolphins to beg for food and draws them dangerously close to fishing gear and boat propellers.
  • Avoid tossing leftover bait to dolphins. Dumping leftover bait may attract dolphins to fishing areas to beg or steal bait and catch.
  • Check your gear and terminal tackle to make sure they are in good shape and will not break too easily. Even small amounts of gear in the water can be harmful to wildlife if entangled or ingested.
  • Avoid fishing in areas where dolphins actively feed and change feeding locations if dolphins show interest in your bait or catch.
  • Do not release caught fish in the presence of dolphins.
  • Stay at least 50 yards away from wild dolphins to help keep them wild.
  • Change fishing locations if dolphins are showing interest in your bait or catch.
  • Do not release caught fish in the presence of dolphins.
  • Use circle and corrodible hooks (anything other than stainless steel). Circle hooks may reduce injuries and corrodible hooks eventually dissolve.
  • Recycle fish line in a Monofilament Fishing Line Recycling Bin or in a lidded trash can.

To report feeding or harassment of wild dolphins call NOAA
1-800-853-1964

To report an injured or entangled dolphin or wildlife call FWC
1-888-404-FWCC (3922)