Ocean Animals At Risk
Did you know that every year, an estimated 20 million tons of marine wildlife is unintentionally caught and dumped, mostly dead, back into the ocean? This so-called wasted "by-catch" is more than 60 times the weight of the empire state building!
Many fishing nets and methods used to capture commercially-valuable fish, particularly drift gillnets and drift longlines, unintentionally capture and kill numerous species of animals, including sharks, sea turtles, whales, dolphins, and seabirds.
Although bycatch is illegal, the U.S. government has done little to enforce the laws intended to protect our ocean life. Last month a House Subcommittee voted to weaken
the nation's principal ocean fish management law. In the next few weeks, U.S. Congressional committees will vote on bills to further amend these laws; the outlook is grim for marine life.
- 9 pounds of marine life by-catch is killed for every one pound of shrimp caught!
- Last year, the U.S. government announced that 31 fish species in U.S. fisheries are on the brink of commercial
- On the East Coast, less than two percent of fishing trips record data on bycatch.
Sign this letter to President Bush asking him to implement and enforce existing laws, including a full investigation of wasted catch, and call on the National Marine Fisheries Service to protect ocean life.
URGENT: DEADLINE FOR COMMENTS IS JUNE 14th! SIGN NOW!
Dear President Bush:
I am very concerned about the senseless destruction of ocean life caused by wasteful fishing. Every year billions of pounds of fish, hundreds of thousands of whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions and sea birds, and countless numbers of other ocean animals are caught, killed, and discarded.
Four Federal laws clearly require the U.S. to reduce wasted catch, also known as bycatch. But, through delay, inaction, and inadequate regulations, the government has failed to enforce them. The government has not even taken the smallest step toward solving this problem, such as placing observers on fishing vessels to monitor wasted catch.
President Bush, please implement and enforce existing laws, including a full investigation of wasted catch, and call on the National Marine Fisheries Service to protect ocean life. Please take action now to prevent this wasteful destruction, which puts our oceans, food supply, and economy at risk.
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