TAMPA, FL (WFLA) – A message from a Canadian angler on his latest catch is going viral.
When Adam Turnbull reeled in a northern pike on Oct. 28, he knew something wasn’t right. What he thought was an injury from another fish or boat propeller turned out to be a wrapper from a Powerade bottle.
The plastic was wrapped around the fish.
Turnbull told WFLA’S Daisy Ruth he used a small pair of fly fishing scissors to free the fish.
“As soon as I cut it off, I took a picture without the plastic on the fish and as soon I put the fish in the water, it darted out of my hands like there was nothing wrong with it,” Turnbull said. “So I mean, it was very alive and well.”
We showed the photos Turnbull posted to his Facebook page to Debbi Stone, Vice President of Education at the Florida Aquarium. Stone said she’s never seen anything like this.
She said most of the plastic-involved injuries she sees at the aquarium involve turtles, manatees and dolphins.
“One of the things that’s more common is to find plastics in the stomachs of the animals that we see are sick or injured, so that’s a lot more common,” Stone said.
Stone believes injuries like the one to the pike and other plastic-involved injuries are easily preventable.
The first step is picking up after yourself when you’re near the water.
We can also reduce using single-use plastics.
“That’s the first thing people can do, starting with skip the straw,” Stone said.
“If everyone would just skip the straw for a day, it comes to 500 million straws that don’t end up either in landfills or the trash.”
From the Florida Aquarium to Alberta, Canada, the message of being more consciously aware of our environment is clear.
“I don’t ever want to see this again,” Turnbull said. “Just be a little more focused on cleaning up after ourselves and cleaning up after others.”