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Posts tagged ‘gillnets’

Indiscriminate Killing

dolphin_FOIA_bycatchOff the coast of California, giant mile-long fishing nets are left to “soak” overnight. In the morning, fisherman pull up their catch – and that catch often includes dead dolphins, with water in their lungs and netting dug into their skin.

These dolphins, sea lions, sea turtles and whales struggle to escape, but the nets are so massive and strong that it’s nearly impossible. Trapped, they struggle until they run out of air.

For the fishing industry using these walls of death, dead dolphins are just another part of doing business.

Enough is enough. Oceana’s new report has identified these drift gillnets as among the top offenders in the nation – and now it’s time to hold them accountable and change these devastating practices.

Our new report on the needless waste and death of marine wildlife revealed some truly horrifying numbers. Nine U.S. fisheries fish so indiscriminately that they have to throw out almost as much as they bring to shore, and much of this wasted catch dies before or after being tossed overboard.

These fishing practices irreversibly harm our precious ocean ecosystems, indiscriminately killing animals big and small, and leaving millions of edible fish like cod and halibut sinking dead to the bottom of the sea.

Simple changes—like switching from giant nets to selective harpoons—would make a huge difference, and we need the help of ocean-lovers like you to make them a reality. Your gift today will help Oceana push for stronger enforcement and better regulations to minimize wasted catch, put pressure on these fisheries to do the right thing, and protect the amazing animals who call our oceans home.

But stopping them won’t be easy. We will need to influence legislation, put people on the ground, and keep the story in the press to get these fisheries to clean up their act. Put simply, we won’t be able to do it without people like you standing behind us.

Please, help make the difference for dolphins and sea turtles. Chip in by midnight on Friday to join Oceana in the fight to protect ocean wildlife in the U.S. and around the world. »

These fisheries are driven by profits – not what’s right. Changing their ways is going to take time and money. Your help is critical to keep up the fight so that we can continue to put pressure on the worst offenders and the federal government to enforce stronger common-sense regulations.

I’m so glad we have you with us for these critical fights.

For the oceans,
Susan Murray
Deputy Vice President, Pacific
Oceana

Take Down The Nets!

Take down the nets!

sperm_whale_tailSperm whales are truly astonishing creatures; a deep-diving family-focused creature with a lifespan that rivals humans and the largest brain in the animal kingdom.

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.

Help us reach our $50,000 goal to fight for endangered whales and other threatened wildlife»

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,
Rachael Prokop
Oceana

Powerful Majestic Creatures

Dear Gabriel,

Sperm whales are one of the world’s most powerful, majestic sea creatures – but they’re no match for drift gillnets.

In just one year, an estimated 16 sperm whales were drowned in gillnets off the coast of California. That’s not counting the sharks, turtles, dolphins, and other open ocean animals that are caught in greater numbers.

These nets, which are supposed to catch swordfish, are notorious for killing some of our oceans’ most endangered species. They should be banned—but instead they continue to kill turtles, sharks, whales and more.

That kind of indiscriminate killing of ocean wildlife cannot be allowed to continue, so we are fighting to stop the use of swordfish drift gillnets off the coast of California.

You can help us meet our $40,000 goal if you chip in – and until October 31, every gift you give will be MATCHED for double the impact. Donate just $10 today and join the fight to stop deadly gillnets»

The destructive power of gillnets cannot be underestimated, even for the formidable sperm whale.

Up to 65 feet long and weighing over 50 tons, these deep diving whales can hold their own against nearly anything in the oceans. But sperm whales were prized by whalers in the 18th and 19th centuries for the spermaceti oil contained in their large heads, and were hunted mercilessly.

They grow slowly, taking time to raise their young between births. Without human interference, a sperm whale may live to be 70 years old. But a young whale caught in a net doesn’t just lose those decades of life—it loses its chance to have babies and help replenish a population still struggling from the effects of whaling.

Six weeks ago, we filed our formal intent to sue the federal government for violating the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. This is precisely the kind of action that will force the government to protect endangered ocean wildlife threatened by gillnets.

While they can be expensive, these lawsuits work. A similar lawsuit in 2009 forced the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service to grant protections for the endangered loggerhead and leatherback sea turtles. Our fight against the use of drift gillnets in places where endangered sea creatures reside could save more turtles and whales – but only if we have the resources we need to win.

With your help, we can continue the fight for sperm whales and other ocean creatures around the world. Give $10 today and we’ll DOUBLE your support!»

For the oceans,
Emily Fisher
Oceana

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