A recent undercover investigation exposed the heartbreaking toll the use of driftnets targeting swordfish is taking on marine life just miles off the coast of California, but there's now hope using them could become illegal.
These nets, which have otherwise become known as 'walls of death,' can span more than a mile long, and hang 100 feet deep. Unsurprisingly, they're taking a serious toll on marine life that goes far beyond their target, from dolphins, rays, sea turtles, sharks and whales to seabirds and sea lions who have become victims – including protected species.
The coalition behind the investigation estimates that for every swordfish caught in a driftnet, seven other animals are drowned and killed.
These destructive nets have been banned in other parts of the world, on the east coast of the U.S., and off the coasts of Washington and Oregon, but they remain deadly and indiscriminate killers off the coast of California.
Since the investigation was released, Senators Dianne Feinstein, Shelley Moore Capito and Kamala Harris have introduced Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction Act (S.2773), which would phase out the use of these nets by 2020, in addition to authorizing National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to develop a program that would help fisheries transition to other methods.
Please sign and share this petition urging members of Congress to pass this critical piece of legislation that would protect marine life from being injured and killed as bycatch by getting these driftnets out of U.S. waters.