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Nets of Death: End a Fishery That Will Save Sharks

Support the Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction Act (Feinstein,Harris)

The Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction Act (Feinstein, Harris) is a bipartisan bill to phase out harmful large mesh drift gillnets used in federal waters off the coast of California – the only place the nets are still used in the United States.

Large mesh drift gillnets, which are between a mile and a mile-and-a-half long and can extend 200 feet below the ocean surface, are left in the ocean overnight to catch swordfish and thresher sharks. However, at least 60 other marine species, including whales, dolphins, sea lions, sea turtles, fish and sharks, can also become entangled in the large mesh net “walls,” injuring or killing them. Most of these animals, referred to as bycatch, are then discarded to die.

This bill passed the House and Senate in 2020 but was vetoed by President Trump. It is time to save endangered Californian sharks, sea turtles, seabirds and whales.

“Large mesh driftnets indiscriminately kill whales, dolphins, porpoises, sea turtles and other marine animals. It’s time to transition the industry to more efficient, sustainable and profitable methods. Real-time data shows other fishing gear is more successful, profitable and sustainable. Now that we have a new administration, I’m hopeful that Congress will quickly pass our bill and we can begin to phase driftnets out.”

Senator Diane Feinstein

Please support saving California marine wildlife by contacting your Congressional representative and ask them to support the Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction Act.

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