California Coast Longline Expansion - Permit Expires!
Strong public opposition to opening the California and Oregon coasts between 50 and 200 miles from shore to a new longline fishery has finally thwarted fishery managers. The fishing industry with the support of National Marine Fisheries Service (under Bush) wanted to set thousands of deadly longline hooks within 200 miles of the California and Oregon coastline despite the historic bans and the fact that endangered sea turtles, marine mammals, and seabirds will be killed.
In California, longlining for swordfish has been illegal since 1977 due
to impacts on endangered marine species such as sea turtles, whales,
and other wildlife.
The new Obama Adminstration allowed the "exempted fishing permit" or EFP for this action to expire in at the end of December 2009. Fishery officials confirmed that the permit had expired and that the fisher involved did not plan to re-apply at this time.
Separately, the Oregon Fish and Game Commission decided to permanently eliminate permits for longline fisheries from its fishery management plan.
Anyone who wrote a letter, email, postcard, letter to the editor; or attended a public hearing or event, made a donation to leatherback defense or in any way helped to oppose this effort played a critical part in protecting leatherbacks and loggerhead sea turtles along the West Coast. Thank you.
We hope we don't have to fight this particular battle ever again!
Early in 2009, with the help of STRP members, we defeated the re-opening of a deadly longline fishery in deep water outside of 200 miles of the West Coast. Read more:
West Coast High Seas Shallow Set Longline Proposal - Defeated! Longline
fishing along the U.S.
West Coast outside the 200 mile limit was banned in 2004 due to its
impacts on highly endangered Pacific leatherback and loggerhead
turtles. In spite of this, in 2008, federal fishery managers proposed
re-opening the swordfish fishery 200 miles off the U. S. West coast on
the High Seas. After thousands of public comments, letters, public
hearings and scientist's warnings about the decline of the sea turtles,
this fishery expansion was halted in April 2009 -- at least for now.
The last major U. S. Pacific longline fishery for swordfish now threatening the critically endangered Pacific leatherback and loggerhead sea turtles is the expanding Hawaii Longline Fishery. Read more.