Deadly Driftnets Will Not Be Expanded Into Sea Turtle, Whale Habitat Off California Coast

SACRAMENTO, CA.— In an important victory for wildlife, federal fishery managers in Sacramento today decided not to expand driftnet fishing into protected sea turtle habitat along the California coast because it would significantly raise the risk of capturing and drowning endangered sea turtles and sperm whales. Instead the Pacific Fishery Management Council called for immediate action to impose strong whale-protection regulations on the driftnet fleet that expired in January 2014 and to test lower bycatch fishing gears for catching swordfish. But it took no action on ending the use of driftnets along the California coast. “Finally, sea turtles and whales are getting a little help, instead of more fishing threats,” said Teri Shore, program director at Turtle Island Restoration Network. “Yet the driftnets will still be out on the water as usual this year, needlessly capturing and killing ocean wildlife. After decades of this, we were hoping for more.”...

Read More...