A tiny seahorse named Frito received a second chance at life after being trapped in fishing line. Florida resident Dawn McCartney said she and her two daughters were snorkeling when they found a rope and plastic trash in the water. Among the debris, the family saw a small seahorse with fishing line wrapped around her neck multiple times. McCartney called the Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA), who came to the seahorse’s rescue.

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Frito, a female lined seahorse, was rescued last weekend, on June 10. McCartney carefully untangled the seahorse and put her in a water bottle filled with ocean water until the CMA rescue team could come pick up Frito. CMA, an animal rescue center, rehabilitated the seahorse, whom they described as their smallest rescue yet, and were able to return her to a seagrass bed in the wild on June 14.

Frito the tiny seahorse by the water

Frito the tiny seahorse by the water

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“Our mission of rescue, rehabilitation and release applies to all marine life, big and small,” CMA CEO David Yates said in a statement. “The level of care our team gave to tiny Frito is inspiring. It is so rewarding to get her back home.”

Release of Frito, the Tiny Seahorse

Frito, the tiny seahorse is going home! Join us in welcoming home our smallest rescue patient as she is released into the wild! #CMAinspires

Posted by Clearwater Marine Aquarium on Thursday, June 14, 2018

CMA said Frito’s rescue story is similar to that of other animals they’ve rescued — the creatures were tangled in fishing line. Monofilament fishing line drifting in ocean waves could endanger many species of marine life such as sea turtles, birds, stingrays, dolphins… and tiny seahorses. CMA said people can lower the chances of animal entanglement simply by cleaning up fishing line and disposing of it back at a dock.

In a 2017 blog post, CMA offered other suggestions for fishers who want to help keep marine life safe, such as using barbless circle hooks or recycling monofilament fishing line. While non-monofilament line and hooks can’t be placed in the recycling bins for monofilament lines, fishers can cut the sharp point off hooks and cut non-monofilament line into pieces 12 inches or smaller before putting those in covered trash cans to help protect marine animals.

+ Frito the Seahorse

+ Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Images courtesy of Clearwater Marine Aquarium