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Emergency Rules Implemented to Protect Endangered Sperm Whales From Drift Gillnets
by Center for Biological Diversity
The National Marine Fisheries Service issued emergency regulations on September 3 that will shut down California’s drift gillnet fishery if a single endangered sperm whale is caught dead or injured. The rules will also require independent observers on all drift gillnet vessels operating in offshore waters deeper than 6,500 feet (2,000 meters) where sperm whales are most often observed (see attached map). The rules will be enforced by requiring new vessel-monitoring systems tracking the locations of all drift gillnet vessels off the U.S. West Coast.

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