Outlaw Devastating and Wasteful Fishing Nets


Target: California Assembly

Goal: Stop the use of deadly drift gillnets

The California Assembly recently introduced a bill that could save countless whales, dolphins, sea lions, sea turtles, and sharks. The bill would outlaw the use of drift gillnets –  huge nets that end up killing countless fish and marine mammals through collateral damage alone. Support this bill and protect our ocean wildlife from indiscriminate slaughter.

Drift gillnets are used to target swordfish and thresher sharks off California’s coast. Nets that stretch a mile are set to “soak” overnight. Sadly, they entangle and trap more than 100 marine mammals every year. They also trap many sharks and ecologically important fish. Once entangled in these nets, the animals are injured, and once they are unable to surface for air, most eventually drown. This bill seeks to protect  marine life by eliminating the use of drift gillnets. There is better fishing gear types available that do not kill thousands of marine animals.

California Assembly member Fong said, “California has been a national leader in environmental and conservation efforts. “The fact that California still permits the use of these deadly drift gillnets while other states on the western coast have banned the use is shameful. [This bill] will help save the nearly 70 percent of the unintended marine wildlife that are caught and then discarded.”

According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration observer data, from May 2007 to January 2012, the drift gillnet fishery discarded 67% of all marine animals it caught. In 2011, for every five swordfish caught, one marine mammal was killed, and six fish, including sharks and tuna, were tossed overboard.
The ships operating in the drift gillnet fishery accidentally capture and kill more whales and marine mammals than any other fishery along the U.S. West Coast. Tell the California Assembly to pass this bill to outlaw drift gillnets.


Dear California Assemblymembers,

Thank you for introducing and co-authoring the bill to end the use of drift gillnets in California. Driftnets are already banned in Oregon and Washington and the High Seas due to the deadly toll on endangered marine wildlife. Passing this bill will put California among the states on the West Coast that care about protecting marine life.

Mile-long drift gillnets, meant for swordfish and thresher sharks, form dangerous underwater walls of death that drown or injure many other animals.  It is time for this outdated way of fishing to stop. Please pass the bill to end the use of drift gillnets.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Mark Interrante via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. Supply = Demand. Solution? Go Vegan 🙂

  2. DAVID A BAINES says:

    SUGGESTION. Can facebook encourage each member to display on their “permanent” Profile page a photo of how bad the world’s oceans are? AWARENESS IS THE KEY TO SAVING ALL LIFE.

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