NAPLES, Fla. — Tuesday morning, Naples City Council members voted on a fishing ban at the pier.
The ban went into effect as a trial run on January 1, after hundreds of pelican and other shorebirds were injured and some even died.
According to the Conservancy of SWFL, before this ban took effect, the number of pelican injuries and deaths were at a crisis level. This ban made it illegal to fish on Sundays, as well as every night from 11-5 in the morning.
Council members decided to extend this ban year-round until June 1st of 2023.
Here’s what we were able to find in the City Council agenda for Tuesday's meeting. The city says so far this year, 39 brown pelicans have been taken from the pier to the hospital. During the same time last year it was 87. And in 2020 it was 119.
So the number of injured birds is down but the study also found the number of people visiting the pier is up to pre-Hurricane Irma levels. This year, more than 660,000 people have visited the pier. That’s the most since 2016. And in a survey the city did as part of this project, it found that fishing is the number one reason people visit the Naples Pier.
So the potential year-round ban is not sitting well with everyone.
This change.org petition is still live right now. Back in December, we talked to the man who started it. He said while he doesn’t agree with banning any one day of fishing, if it has to happen it should be on a weekday.