End California's Deadliest Catch - The Drift Gillnet Fishery

Dear National Marine Fisheries Service and Pacific Fisheries Management Council,

I am writing to urge the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the Pacific Fisheries Management Council (the Council) to halt any further action to expand the drift gillnet fishery for swordfish off the U.S. West Coast. In particular, I oppose weakening the Pacific Leatherback Conservation Area that has reduced entanglements of endangered leatherback sea turtles to two over the past decade. The Council must vote no on any proposals that would allow more gillnet fishing in leatherback habitat or increase the high bycatch in this unpopular, unsustainable swordfish fishery.

Drift gillnets have been banned on the High Seas and along most of the U.S. West Coast because of high bycatch of marine life including endangered whales, dolphins, sea turtles, shark, tuna and other non-target fish. Recently two endangered sperm whales were entangled and killed in the California drift gillnet fishery. As a result, the fishery is operating in violation of conservation laws protecting marine mammals.

Any actions to increase gillnet fishing conflict with new protections given to sea turtles over the past year, including designation of critical habitat for Pacific leatherbacks along the West Coast and and the uplisting of the Pacific loggerheads from threatened to endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. To date, NMFS has failed to protect critical habitat for loggerheads as required by the Endangered Species Act.

For these reasons, I urge you to stop any and all efforts to expand the swordfish gillnet fishery before it goes any farther. Instead, I urge you to begin to phase out the drift gillnet fishery along our coast, permanently ban longlining under any circumstances and to support sustainable fishing practices that don't compromise the health of endangered species, fisheries and our oceans.

Sincerely yours,
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1-25 of 7582 signatures
Number Date Name Location
7582 Sun Feb 09 21:53:41 EST 2014 Steve Gustafson Chicago, IL
7581 Sun Feb 09 11:53:37 EST 2014 Craig Hobin Sarnia, ON
7580 Fri Feb 07 16:04:41 EST 2014 Dixie Lee Howe Challenge, CA
7579 Sun Feb 02 06:46:31 EST 2014 Leah Fischer Rocky Hill, NJ
7578 Thu Jan 30 21:46:14 EST 2014 Wendy Weldon Delray Beach, FL
7577 Wed Jan 29 20:59:46 EST 2014 Courtney Sillings Rancho Cucamonga, CA
7576 Tue Jan 28 12:39:21 EST 2014 Dia Smith Redman Osh MINNEAPOLIS, MN
7575 Tue Jan 28 10:12:58 EST 2014 Sylwia Zielinska Zambrow, ot
7574 Mon Jan 27 21:24:06 EST 2014 Nicole Fortunato Carlsbad , CA
7573 Fri Jan 24 09:00:33 EST 2014 Caitlin McInerney Oakville, ON
7572 Thu Jan 16 20:34:17 EST 2014 Tereza Cristina Marins São Paulo, ot
7571 Thu Jan 16 20:24:39 EST 2014 monica russo torre annunziata, ot
7570 Thu Jan 16 19:03:26 EST 2014 Shawn Sargent West Yarmouth, MA
7569 Wed Jan 15 08:25:09 EST 2014 Linnie Gonzalez Stony Brook, NY
7568 Fri Jan 10 12:26:14 EST 2014 Irene Gilgoff Los Alamitos, CA
7567 Mon Jan 06 18:24:02 EST 2014 Debra Scott Kyle, TX
7566 Fri Jan 03 01:07:15 EST 2014 Paul Brown Victoria, ot
7565 Thu Jan 02 15:51:31 EST 2014 Tory Johnson Golden, CO
7564 Mon Dec 30 09:38:19 EST 2013 Nicola Nicolai Chester Springs, PA
7563 Fri Dec 27 14:49:43 EST 2013 Hannah Smith Waxahachie, TX
7562 Tue Dec 24 11:29:31 EST 2013 Nanlouise Wolfe Santa Cruz, CA
7561 Sun Dec 22 15:21:45 EST 2013 Emily Birnbaum Merrick, NY
7560 Sat Dec 21 16:17:10 EST 2013 Denise Gonzalez CA
7559 Fri Dec 13 16:21:13 EST 2013 Elizabeth Stephenson Rockport, ME
7558 Thu Dec 12 16:41:35 EST 2013 Marshall Trackman San Leandro, CA
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