You can help protect whales, dolphins, and sea turtles from becoming entangled in drift gillnets, currently the primary method of fishing for swordfish off California. In June, the Pacific Fishery Management Council can authorize a better fishing technique, known as deep-set buoy gear. Successfully tested for over seven years off the West Coast, deep-set buoy gear offers fishermen a better way to catch swordfish without the unwanted catch of other marine wildlife.
Act now: Add your voice and ask fishery managers to authorize deep-set buoy gear.
This gear targets swordfish during the day in cold, deep water, where interaction with other species is minimized. Buoy gear is also actively tended, which means that the fish are landed and put on ice much faster, resulting in a higher-quality product that garners a higher price at market. In contrast, other destructive fishing methods such as drift gillnets and longlines are used over many hours near the surface, where sensitive species such as dolphins and whales congregate.
By avoiding these sensitive species and providing a local product to West Coast markets, deep-set buoy gear offers a win-win solution for fishermen and marine wildlife.
Please send a message to Chairman Phil Anderson and council members today.