Take down the nets!
You wouldn’t think that an animal as big as a sperm whale would have much to fear, but they do. These endangered mammals face a deadly threat off the California coast: mile-long drift gillnets that can entangle their fins and tails, holding them underwater until they drown.
Drift gillnets are set off California’s southern coast, left out overnight to catch swordfish and thresher sharks. These large nets create mile-long “walls of death” that will tangle up many sharks, turtles, marine mammals and fish that encounter them. Held underwater, air-breathing animals like whales and turtles will drown if they can’t get free.
Sperm whales are already endangered. Like humans, they tend to go several years or longer in between births and raising their young; which means that it will be a long time still before their population can recover from centuries of whaling. In 2010, the National Marine Fisheries Service estimated that 16 sperm whales were entangled in drift gillnets—a number that their small population just can’t handle.
Oceana is campaigning to remove these destructive nets once and for all off the U.S. West Coast and have them replaced with cleaner fishing gear. We can’t risk losing more whales to deadly nets.
Give by May 15 to help us fight for sperm whales and all the world’s oceans»
Thanks to supporters like you, this year Oceana stopped a proposed expansion of this fishery into a protected area for endangered leatherback sea turtles; but we can’t stop this fight until we can guarantee that all ocean waters off California are safe from these deadly nets.
For the oceans,