Last week SeaTurtles.org Program Director Teri Shore testified at the federal Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting in Sacramento to oppose proposals to expand the West Coast swordfish and shark fishery. Shore submitted extensive comments along with a letter signed by ocean and conservation groups calling for a halt to any further action to expand deadly drift gillnets or longlines along our coast. Read our press release for more details and to download the letter and other details. (Leatherback photo by Phil Eager)
Instead, pro-fishery Council members from the state of California and National Marine Fisheries staff from the Southwest Fisheries Center took new actions to allow fishing in the Leatherback Conservation Area that is off limits to drift gillnets between August 15 and November 15 each year to protect leatherbacks.
The Council also decided to initiate actions to open up the West Coast to longlining despite a ban against this high bycatch gear along the California coast. Despite widespead opposition to this gear by California agencies, conservation groups, scientists and the public, rogue federal fishery managers continue to ignore the public interest in favor of seafood profits for a few.
We are gearing up to end these deadly fisheries once and for all! Watch for updates!