NEWS: Whales, Dolphins, Sea Lions, Among Thousands Entangled & Killed in Mile-Long Fishing Nets off California Coast
NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit Takes on California Driftnets
(Screenshot of NBC investigative reporter Bigad Shaban reporting on the use of driftnets in California and the impacts on marine wildlife).
Turtle Island Restoration Network was featured as a source in an investigative story on the impacts of California driftnets by NBC Bay Area. Below is an excerpt from the story.
Fishing nets, used to catch swordfish along the California coast, have entangled and killed other sea life by the thousands, according to a months-long investigation by NBC Bay Area. While the number of sea creatures unintentionally captured in the nets has decreased since the 1990s, critics insist the risk posed to wildlife remains far too great.
Other states and even the United Nations have taken steps to ban or restrict the use of the fishing nets, known as drift gillnets. However, California fishermen insist the impacts are exaggerated and argue the nets remain the best tool in catching swordfish along the west coast.
“These are invisible curtains of death that are just placed out in the ocean,” said biologist Todd Steiner. “Everything that swims into it becomes its victim.”
We are thrilled to report that our efforts to gain greater global protections for sharks and rays have paid off!
Thanks to your help and support we were able to deliver over 15,000 petitions to Presidents of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. These thousands of petitions, signed by citizens from around the world, called on leaders to support protections for silky sharks. Many of you helped us get more petition signatures by sharing and re-tweeting posts, and forwarding emails. Thank you!
Specifically, Turtle Island asked nations to support greater protections for silky sharks by listing them under Appendix II of CITES. The Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals, and plants does not threaten their survival. Listing a species on provides it with special protections globally.
Fight Climate Change: Tell President Obama No New Oil & Gas Leases in the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
(Photo from aerial surveys during the BP oil spill. Sea turtle swimming in COREXIT dispersant scum in the western Gulf of Mexico. Photo by Ron Wooten).
Oil and sea turtles do not mix. The Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, native to the Gulf of Mexico, is the world’s most endangered sea turtle with a nesting population of between 7,000 and 9,000 female turtles. The loss of even one nesting female has an impact on the recovery of this species. After the 2010 BP oil spill, approximately 600 sea turtles were killed due to oil exposure. Nesting numbers dropped by more than 48 percent between 2012 and 2014.
Further, climate change caused by the burning off fossil fuels is leading to flooding and sea level rise. Rising sea levels threaten major sea turtle nesting sites worldwide.
In this context, there is no justification for new leases to expand oil and gas production activities in the Gulf of Mexico.
We are now offering a fantastic opportunity to join us on a Cocos Island Research Expedition from November 29th to December 9, 2016 at a $2,000 $1,500 discount!
You’re invited to join Todd Steiner, Executive Director of Turtle Island, on an 10-day live-aboard dive research expedition to Cocos Island National Park this fall to help study the sea turtles and sharks of the region. Our aim is to better understand these species’ movements, and collect data necessary to advocate for marine protected "swimways." Cocos Island National Park and World Heritage site is located southwest of Costa Rica’s mainland. Known as one of the world’s most incredible diving destinations, it is famous for its large populations of scalloped hammerhead and white tip reef sharks, and boasts a number of endemic fish that occur nowhere else on the planet. Hammerheads are easily viewed at close range at "cleaning stations," and inquisitive green turtles commonly approach our dive teams, offering fantastic photographic opportunities and facilitating tagging studies.
For more information, please contact: Sarah Millus at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-859-7283 to register or learn more!