Gillnets – A National Issue

It’s common sense – “walls of death” don’t make for thriving fisheries.

Gillnets typically hang from floats the water’s surface and are either anchored in place or allowed to drift. As fish attempt to pass through, the netting gets caught in their gills and traps them. Due to their design, gillnets are unable to harvest one targeted species of fish. As such, they are referred to a “non-selective gear.”  All other resident species – fish or not – often become ensnared as well.

Gillnets are a long-standing problem in many states. Some are in the fight to stop them now, while others have battled and rightfully won.

Stop Harmful Drift Gillnets

A bill has been introduced in the U.S. Senate to bring commercial swordfish fishing in California in line with all other U.S. and international swordfish fisheries. The Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction Act – S. 2773 – would phase out the use of indiscriminate mile-long drift gillnets off the California coast by 2020.

Large-mesh drift gillnets, often called “walls of death,” produce excessive bycatch and waste, resulting in half of the catch being discarded as unwanted, prohibited, or protected species. They are an out-of-date fishing method and need to be eliminated from all U.S. waters.

Send a message to your Senators today and ask them to support this important legislation.


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