Fishing Gear

Part of the SDRP mission is to educate the pubic about how to protect dolphins.

Recreational fishermen are a prime target audience because they fish is the same waters where dolphins hunt their prey. And fishing gear can pose a threat to dolphins.

Dolphin with fishing lure in mouth

Long-time Sarasota Bay resident female Jose with fishing lure caught in her mouth.

Dolphins that approach anglers run the risk of getting tangled in lines, hooked by fish-like lures, or swallowing hooks or lures with fish attached.

Fisherman pulls up line

Fisherman protects dolphin by pulling baited line out of the water when dolphin passes nearby.

Dive Deeper into the Science

Dive deeper: Download a copy of  Dolphin Friendly Fishing Tips

We partner with Federal and State agencies, the Mote Marine Laboratory, and conservation organizations to educate recreational fishermen about how they can help protect wild dolphins.

Grants have provided funds for public outreach to angling and boating groups, and to the fishing public.

What you can do

  1. Never feed wild dolphins – it’s harmful and illegal.
  2. Reuse or share leftover bait.
  3. Reel in your line if dolphins approach it.
  4. Change locations if dolphins show interest in your bait or catch.
  5. Release your catch quietly, away from dolphins.
  6. Check your gear and tackle: prevent breakage and lost gear.
  7. Use circle hooks and  hooks that corrode.
  8. Stay at least 50 yards away from wild dolphins.
  9. Don’t discard your fishing line overboard. Recycle it instead.
  10. Stash your trash: wild dolphins might eat pieces of it.

All photos © Sarasota Dolphin Research Program under NMFS permit #522-1785

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