Help us Remove Gillnets off the California Coast
I have some good news to report in our efforts to encourage West Coast fisheries managers to transition away from drift gillnets, and want to urge all of you to get involved over the next 30 days, prior to a crucial PFMC meeting in November.
At September’s PFMC meeting in Sacramento, the Council set a goal of establishing 100% observer coverage on the drift gillnet fishery by 2018. They also put firm limits on the catch of nine species of marine mammals and turtles caught accidentally in drift gillnets, agreeing to shut down the fishery for the season if any one of these limits are reached. These are huge steps forward after a year of backsliding. The Council also decided to schedule a long discussion about the future of the swordfish fishery for the November PFMC meeting in Garden Grove. At that meeting, they will discuss plans for this fishery and potential alternative gear types…as well as a discussion about longlines.
Anglers were well represented at this meeting – IGFA member Bev Seltzer delivered incredibly compelling testimony, and IGFA Conservation Director Jason Schratwieser and CCA-CA Wayne Kotow were there in person to submit eloquent letters urging the PFMC to transition away from drift gillnets and keep longlines away from the California coast. I believe that Councilmembers were very moved by the input from anglers, who continue to be underrepresented in the management process.
However, there’s still work to be done! We need to rally additional support in advance of the PFMC meeting on November 15th, in Garden Grove, CA. Let’s urge the PFMC to transition away from drift gillnets once and for all and reject the introduction of longlines off our coast.
HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED:
IGFA Representative – Southern California
Photo Credits: IGFA and NOAA