The Senate is moving legislation forward to end the use of wasteful drift gillnets used to catch swordfish off the West Coast. Drift gillnets don’t just catch swordfish; they catch a whole host of other species including sea turtles, whales, dolphins and recreationally important fish like marlin. On average, over half of what is caught is thrown overboard – often injured or dead.
The fishing fleet using drift gillnets to catch swordfish is small—around 20 active boats—but it kills more dolphins and porpoises than all other West Coast fisheries combined. Discarding over half of the catch is unacceptable, particularly when a better, less wasteful alternative exists. A new way to catch swordfish, called deep-set buoy gear, is proving to be highly effective without the waste.
The bipartisan Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction Act (S. 2773) provides fishermen with solutions, as well as certainty about the sustainable future of this fishery—for consumers, fishing communities, and our treasured natural resources. Sign the petition to urge your senators to stop wasteful driftnet fishing!
Note: By signing this petition you agree to have a physical letter, email, or webform submission automatically sent directly to your lawmaker(s) on your behalf, stating your support of this issue.