Shocking new 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.



Dolphins drown in driftnets, unable to surface for air after becoming entangled.


Sea animals are left on deck, gasping for oxygen and slowly suffocating.

Needless Suffering

Sharks have their fins brutally sawed off while still alive and struggling.

Threat to Species

Endangered, threatened, and protected species are harmed by California driftnets.


The driftnet fishery is responsible for widespread destruction of marine wildlife.

For every swordfish caught by the driftnet fishery, an estimated seven other marine animals are entangled in nets and often injured or killed. And at least six endangered, threatened, or protected species are harmed by driftnets off the California coast.

We are calling on the California legislature to pass the newly introduced bill SB1017 to transition California away from the use of large-scale driftnets. But we need your help to ensure this important bill becomes law. If you live in California, please join us by telling your state legislators you want to protect marine animals from driftnets.


If you live in another U.S. state, please send an email to your U.S. senator demanding federal action to end the use of cruel driftnets across the country.

If you live outside the U.S., you can also help sea animals! Please send an email asking U.S. senators to introduce federal legislation to end the use of cruel driftnets in U.S. waters.


Driftnets are 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 fishery. 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 fishery for swordfish remains in the United States—in federal waters off the coast of California.


  • Fish

    Scientific research indicates that fish experience emotions and physical pain. Fish are also far more intelligent than we usually give them credit for; they learn by observing one another and cooperate toward common goals.

  • Dolphins

    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

    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 environment and can even recognize certain boats and divers.

  • Sea Lions

    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

    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.

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