Shorebird Rescue Signage Implemented at Juno Beach Pier
A few weeks ago, I went down the street to the Juno Beach Pier to deliver some sea turtle rescue supplies to the staff – a new rescue bin, towels, laminated instructions. I was showing the new supplies to Meg, the Senior Pier Attendant, when I heard something hopping in the pet carrier on the floor.
It was an osprey pier staff had disentangled that morning. As soon as Meg was done checking on the bait house, she drove the osprey to the local rescue facility, Busch Wildlife Sanctuary. She said they often disentangle birds caught in monofilament line on the pier. On any given day, pelicans, cormorants, crows, terns, gulls, and many other species of sea and shorebirds are hanging around the pier, waiting to take some unused bait or fresh catch from an angler’s line.
This morning, we installed new shorebird rescue signage on the Juno Beach Pier. Now, any angler that accidentally entangles or hooks a bird while fishing will know exactly how to rescue the animal and the emergency phone numbers to call for help.
The pier was very busy this morning, anglers filling the spaces along the rails and surfers in the water waiting for the next break. We had to ask a few of the regulars to step to the side while we installed the new signage under the shade shelters along the pier. While I was nervous they would not appreciate their fishing being interrupted, several asked questions about what we were doing and one local man even lent a helping hand to make sure the signs were straight.
Collaboration with the fishing community is the backbone of all the conservation work we are doing at our pier and the other participating piers around the country. It was encouraging to see such a simple sign of partnership at the pier today.
If you see a hooked or entangled shorebird, please call FWC at 888-404-3922.
You can help prevent shorebird interactions while fishing by following the tips below:
- Don’t feed birds extra bait or fish carcasses.
- Properly dispose of excess and unwanted fishing line as well as other trash.
- Don’t leave poles unattended.
- Cover bait and don’t dump it on the ground.
- Cast with care. Do not cast near a bird or near areas where your line may get caught.