The Mississippi Monofilament Recycling Program began in 2008 in an effort to reduce the amount of discarded fishing line making its way into the environment and to educate local anglers and other members of the community about the danger monofilament fishing litter can pose to the environment, wildlife, divers, boaters and even industry if it is not properly disposed. Not only can abandoned monofilament entangle marine and land animals, it can also entangle divers, causing preventable drowning. The plastic line is also capable of entangling boat propellers and blocking industrial pumps and valves. During the 2009 Mississippi Coastal Cleanup, 539 pieces of fishing line were collected from the shores of beaches and other waterways on the Mississippi Coast. Fishing line was ranked 16th of the 43 types of debris collected and ranked 4th on the top-10 list of debris items collected that are considered most dangerous to marine life. Monofilament litter is a substantial problem that won’t likely go away on its own; plastic line is non-degradable in water and can take up to 600 years to break down.

In order to address this wide-spread problem that plagues the Gulf Coast, the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (DMR), in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Mississippi Wildlife Federation, developed a monofilament recycling program for use by recreational and commercial anglers. DMR staff has installed and maintains monofilament recycling receptacles at 16 public piers and boat launches. The recycling tubes are emptied regularly and the discarded fishing line is sent off to be recycled.