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 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.
Act now: Urge your senator to support the Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction Act
The fishing fleet using drift gillnets to catch swordfish is small—about 20 active vessels—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, using deep-set buoy gear, is proving to be highly effective without the waste.
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