Sometimes, the truth can be ugly. This is definitely the case when discussing how so many seafood diners start with the deadly practice of longline fishing, a commercial fishing gear type that kills thousands of sea turtles, dolphins, sharks, and sea birds each year. International longline boats have a horrible reputation for fishing in closed areas for shark fins, creating massive amounts of marine debris, and killing countless sea turtles. When approached while fishing illegally, they have been documented cutting their lines in a rush to escape and leaving miles of abandoned line, hooks, and dead sea life that can continue to harm ocean for decades to come.
Saving sea turtles means bringing this horrible practice of longlining and the massive bycatch it creates to a stop. Education is one tool to stop longlines, but only if consumers take the necessary step of halting their purchases of swordfish and tuna, which are the two species targeted by most longline fisheries.
This video below shows a display of the massive number of innocent sea turtles and marine life killed as bycatch in longines. It was set up in the California Academy of Sciences during a Night Life event by Sea Stewards in partnership with the Sea Turtle Restoration Project. Thousands of guests learned a valuable lesson, that the swordfish on their dinner plate comes at a high cost, the lives of innocent sea turtles, dolphins, and sharks.
Special recognition should be made to David McGuire and all the fabulous volunteers at Sea Stewards.