Public Interest 500

Whales entangled by the California driftnet fishery were the topic of discussion at the annual Public Interest Environmental Law Conference at the University of Oregon Law School in Eugene, OR, March 1- 4, 2017.

Hundreds of public interest environmental lawyers from across the country attended.


The panel featured Turtle Island Restoration Network’s (TIRN) Senior Attorney and Legal Program Director Andrew Ogden, and Director of Policy and Advocacy Cassie Burdyshaw, who is also an attorney. They were joined by colleagues from the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD).

“We highlighted how at least 39 humpback whales were entangled in fishery gear off California’s coast from 2014 through mid-2016, an alarming increase from prior years.” ~ Andrew Ogden


TIRN and the CBD attorneys discussed their recent collaboration on comments to the National Marine Fisheries Service, objecting to any further permitting of the California driftnet fishery if it continued to kill or seriously injure endangered humpback whales during its operations.

Ending the California driftnet fishery is an important initiative for Turtle Island to eliminate the bycatch of humpback and 12 other species of whales, endangered leatherback and loggerhead sea turtles, dolphins and porpoises, seals and sea lions, and sea birds. For more information please read and sign TIRN’s petition to close this deadly drift net fishery and end this deadly drift net fishery.