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Protesters Brave Rain to Call for Phase Out of Driftnets that Kill and Harm Marine Wildlife

For Immediate Release

Images available for media use. Click here.

CONTACT:
Joanna Nasar
Director of Communications
Turtle Island Restoration Network
Cell: (415) 488-7711
Joanna@seaturtles.org

Sacramento (March 13, 2016) – Protesters took to the streets of the California state capital this afternoon during the on going Pacific Fisheries Management Council (PMFC) meeting in which swordfish management policies are under consideration. Turtle Island Restoration Network (SeaTurtles.Org), a leading ocean and marine wildlife conservation non-profit, and the Sierra Club, whose mission is to protect the wild places of the earth and all their cohabitants, and activists began to protest at 11:00 am in front of the Council meeting site at the Doubletree Hilton in Sacramento, Calif. Despite rain, protesters marched in front of the Hilton chanting ‘hey, ho driftnets have got to go,’ and called on the Council to end the use of mile-long nets that entangle, harm and kill marine wildlife. Protesters filed into the Council meeting to encourage members to continue to pursue alternatives to driftnets.

“California driftnets are a cruel, out-of-date, industrial fishing method that massacres more whales and dolphins than all other U.S. West Coast fisheries combined,” said Peter Fugazzotto, strategic programs director of Turtle Island. “We are here today to tell the Council and our legislature to shut it down.”

Protesters showed up to from all over California to show their support for the closure of the driftnet fishery. Protesters carried handmade signs that read: ‘Driftnets kill! Ban them!.’ and ‘End Driftnets’ etc.

Driftnet fishing is banned on the high seas, in Washington, Oregon, Florida, and Russia. The California driftnet fishery consists of less than 20 boats, and is among the worst 20 percent of all fisheries globally. The fishery kills more whales and dolphins than all other fisheries on the West Coast or Alaska combined. Only one in eight animals caught by the fishery are swordfish. Additionally, it costs more to operate than the value of target species of fish caught.

Read our report on the driftnet fishery here: https://seaturtles.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Driftnet-Overview-Final.pdf

Read the PFMC Briefing Book here: http://www.pcouncil.org/resources/archives/briefing-books/march-2016-briefing-book/

Images available for media use here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/5mogtbxw10yzhyh/AAAY1FAlmfEY__pwTM5BLXxWa?dl=0

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Turtle Island Restoration Network is an international marine conservation organization headquartered in California whose 200,000+ members and online activists work to protect sea turtles and marine biodiversity in the United States and around the world. For 25 years, Turtle Island Restoration Network has mobilized people to preserve oceans, restore rivers and streams, and protect the marine wildlife – from sea turtles to sharks – that call these blue-green waters home. SeaTurtles.org