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Indybay Feature
Mon Dec 29 2014 (Updated 12/30/14)
Drift Gillnets are Deadly Curtains of Death
Lawmakers & Conservation Groups Call for Phase Out of California Drift Gillnets
On December 22, with the full support of Turtle Island Restoration Network, OCEANA and other marine conservation organizations, California Assemblymembers Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) and Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay), Das Williams (D-Santa Barbara), Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), and Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel) called on the Pacific Fisheries Management Council and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service to transition away from deadly California drift gillnets.

Every fishing season mile-long drift nets are set to soak overnight in California's coastal waters. They have entangled an average of a hundred marine mammals in recent years, including protected whales, dolphins, seals and sea lions, as well as thousands of sharks, sunfish and other fish. Sea turtles are also at risk. The vast majority of marine wildlife is dumped back into the ocean, dead or injured. The swordfish and sharks they keep are so high in mercury, that the U.S. FDA warns women and children never to eat it.

“California drift gillnets are deadly curtains of death for marine wildlife like whales and sea turtles,” said Doug Karpa, legal program director at Turtle Island Restoration Network. “We applaud Assemblymember Levine for taking a leadership role to ensure our oceans are not indiscriminately mined.”

Read More | Turtle Island Restoration Network | OCEANA

Previous Coverage: New Data Shows California Drift Gillnets Not Sustainable, Continue to Kill Marine Mammals || Swordfish Drift Gillnet Fishery Restricted to Protect Loggerhead Sea Turtles || Whales and Sea Turtles Win One: No Driftnet Expansion in California
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