After decades of trying to clean up the California swordfish fishery, it remains one of the most antiquated fisheries in the country. Unfortunately, time is running out for the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the Driftnet Modernization & Bycatch Reduction Act. In late July, the U.S. Senate passed their version of the Driftnet Modernization & Bycatch Reduction Act, and now the U.S. House of Representatives has the opportunity to end this wasteful, and outdated fishing practice.
Currently, federal waters off the coast of California are the only area in the United States where drift gillnets are still used. Passage of the Driftnet Modernization & Bycatch Reduction Act would bring federal law and California law into alignment, reducing unnecessary bycatch, helping produce a higher quality seafood product and by some estimates it would increase the number of recreational and commercial fishing jobs in California’s swordfish fishery.
Supported by many recreational fishing and conservation organizations, H.R. 1979 would modernize the fishery by transitioning commercial fishermen away from wasteful drift gillnets to more sustainable gear types. The time to end this destructive fishing practice is long overdue, and our opportunity to act is now.
Send a letter to your member of Congress asking them to vote yes on H.R. 1979 the Driftnet Modernization & Bycatch Reduction Act!