Multiple undercover investigations have exposed blatant animal cruelty and widespread destruction of marine life, including sharks viciously stabbed and repeatedly bludgeoned over the head with a baseball bat, animals allowed to slowly suffocate, and seabirds and dolphins drowning after being trapped by driftnets.
Driftnet fishing is responsible for widespread destruction of marine wildlife.
For every one swordfish caught by the commercial driftnet fishing industry, an estimated seven other marine animals are also entangled, injured, and killed in these nets. And at least six endangered, threatened, or protected species are harmed by driftnets off the California coast.
If you live in California, your U.S. senators already support the federal bill, but we still need your help to call on the California legislature to pass SB 1017 to ban the use of large-scale driftnets off California’s coast. Help ensure this bill becomes law. Take action now!
WHAT ARE DRIFTNETS?
Driftnets are mile-long walls of netting that float in the ocean. They are extremely harmful as notoriously high numbers of sea animals, including protected species, such as dolphins, sea lions, and seabirds, are caught, killed, and thrown away by the driftnet fishing industry. These animals are referred to as “bycatch.”
This loss of life is a massive threat to marine ecosystems.
Driftnets are already banned in many countries, and only one driftnet fishing industry remains in the United States—in federal waters off the coast of California.
MARINE ANIMALS HARMED BY DRIFTNETS
Scientific research indicates that fish experience emotions and physical pain. Fish are also far more intelligent than we give them credit for. For example, they learn by observing one another and cooperate to achieve common goals.
Dolphins are considered one of the most intelligent animals on the planet. They can recognize themselves in mirrors, solve problems, follow recipes, and create personalized whistles that act as names for individual members of a family group.
Sharks have been on Earth longer than dinosaurs and have survived several mass extinctions. Sharks display both intelligence and curiosity; they have been observed gently investigating unfamiliar objects in their environments and can even recognize certain boats and divers.
All species of sea lions are mammals. Females give birth and nurse the pups. Sea lions are very communicative and display a wide array of sounds, such as roaring, barking, and even trumpet-like honking.
Seabirds depend on the sea for survival. They are highly social and live in colonies of a few dozen birds to thousands. Seagulls mate for life, and couples gather each year during mating season to reproduce and raise their offspring.
This isn’t the first time Driftnets Have Been Exposed
Just last month, as part of the End Driftnets Coalition, Mercy For Animals, Turtle Island Restoration Network, SeaLegacy, and Sharkwater uncovered horrific animal cruelty caused by driftnets. The video footage reveals how marine animals—including protected species, such as dolphins, sea lions, and seabirds—are routinely trapped and killed in the commercial fishing industry’s driftnets. Animals are documented being cut apart, pierced with hooks, caught in nets, and left to slowly suffocate aboard driftnet fishing boats off the coast of California.
The End Driftnets Coalition is a national alliance that comprises Mercy For Animals, Turtle Island Restoration Network, SeaLegacy, Sharkwater, and compassionate individuals working toward a society free of the driftnet industry and its devastating impacts on marine animals and the ocean ecosystem.
Special thanks to Larry Brown, Sharkwater, and On Wings Of Care