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Boycott Swordfish to Save Ocean Wildlife

Photo: TIRN activists boycott unsustainably-caught swordfish at a Whole Foods Market in San Francisco.

Turtle Island Restoration Network recently launched a swordfish boycott to protect ocean wildlife from deadly commercial fishing methods. Swordfish has become a popular food offered in restaurants and markets, and ocean wildlife is dying as a consequence.

Most swordfish is caught by drift gillnet and longline fisheries. Drift gillnet ships use mile-long nets, and a single longline vessel uses tens of miles of line and thousands of hooks each. In addition to swordfish, they catch sea turtles, whales, dolphins and other marine wildlife. These wasteful fisheries can discard more animal life than they use. Some of these wasted animals are endangered species, such as humpback whales and Pacific leatherback sea turtles.

Swordfish are also high in mercury and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns women of childbearing age and children not to eat it. Learn more about this and check your mercury-seafood levels by visiting our mercury calendar at seaturtles.org/mercury.

By selling swordfish caught by longline and drift gillnets, restaurants and markets inadvertently support the destruction of ocean ecosystems. By the same token, these businesses have the opportunity to be ocean protectors by only offering products that do not threaten ocean wildlife. Turtle Island Restoration Network is calling for restaurants and markets to help end the slaughter of marine wildlife and pledge to stop selling unsustainably-caught swordfish.

Businesses are beginning to feel the pressure; already, several restaurants have made the pledge.

Customers value sustainable products and companies that make the switch to provide sustainable products. A study of all ages found that 84 percent of consumers globally say they seek out responsible products whenever possible.

Turtle Island Restoration Network is calling on consumers to help protect ocean wildlife by not buying unsustainably-caught swordfish personally and also by taking individual action to pressure businesses not to sell unsustainably-caught swordfish.

Customers are beginning to apply pressure; already, thousands of people have pledged not to buy unsustainably-caught swordfish.

Join us in calling on restaurants and consumers to do their part to protect, not harm ocean wildlife!

Please visit seaturtles.org/take-action/swordfish-boycott/ to sign the pledge and see steps you can take to help save ocean wildlife.

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