SAN DIEGO — We've all seen the destruction nylon netting can cause to sea creatures in the open ocean. However, on the Ocean Beach Pier, it's monofilament fishing line that is maiming and killing sea birds and pigeons. One local resident wants to make it easy for those that fish to recycle fishing the line that is causing all of these problems.
Sarah Harron first noticed the problem when she would come out on the Ocean Beach Pier to sketch the birds and saw the toll that the discarded fishing line was having on the birds. "It's haunting how ugly, those lines cut through things, they strangle them. It's hard to talk about, it's hard to see. This is a problem that we can actually do something about and be effective against," said Harron.
She wants to install collection stations that are from a proven design, and which are being used around the world. Harron described them as, "They are monofilament trash cans. They are essentially PVC pipes that have a small opening and a screw at the bottom and they hold the fishing line."
And the idea has caught on with the Ocean Beach Town Council. "It was overwhelmingly positive,” said Harron.
In addition, The Surfrider Foundation is on board. The Policy Coordinator for The Surfrider Foundation, Mitch Silverstein said, "Sarah's passion for this particular issue, the fact that she has a solution really falls into the work Surfrider does."
Supporting local activists is what Surfrider is all about. "This is a perfect match for us and we're here to support here to make it happen," added Silverstein.
Harron knows the mission can't be a one and done, "What I think would be good would be having a maintenance plan that could be contracted so there's accountability, and so it doesn't get dumped on the Parks and Recreation Department."
She adds that she realizes it sounds like a tall order, but she insists that it is something that can be done as a community to make a difference.
WATCH RELATED: San Diego mayor announces state funding to combat homelessness, repair Ocean Beach Pier (July 2021)