Drift gillnets, used in commercial fishing, often trap and slowly kill endangered and other economically important sea animals, such as whales, seals and sea turtles. Even though the use of these nets is banned or restricted in most other US Coastal states, California still allows their use.
Mile-long drift gillnets are still used to capture swordfish and thresher sharks off California's coast. The nets are put out overnight for the intended catch, but when pulled on to fishing boats in the morning, "they contain disturbing and unacceptably high numbers of dead and dying animals," known as bycatch, says Oceana, with 61% of this bycatch discarded. The devastation to marine life is so severe that the nets have earned the name, "walls of death."
The Pacific Fishery Management Council has taken some steps to protect bycatch marine animals, but Oceana says there are less destructive ways to catch target species that "have been proven to be economically feasible," and that drift gillnets should be phased out and replaced with these "cleaner gears."
Sign this petition to insist the PFMC vote in favor of a phase-out of these walls of death at its upcoming, March, 2017 meeting.
Dear PFMC Voting Members,
Oceana reports that other US Coastal states have banned this deadly method of fishing and believes that it’s time to remove the “Walls of Death” from California's shoreline and "move to cleaner fishing gears in order to ensure a vibrant, healthy, sustainable marine ecosystem and ocean-based economy into the future."
I, and others who support this petition, agree and ask for a vote phasing out and banning the use of drift gillnets off the California coast at your next meeting in March, 2017.
Thanks for your time.