Report: Sharks in peril off coast because of gillnets, Advocates disagree

Pacific-swordfish_photo-credit-Britannica-KidsThe report, “California Driftnet Fishery: The True Costs of a 20th Century Fishery in the 21st Century,” issued by Marin’s Turtle Island Restoration Network, says the California driftnet fishery is taking a toll on shark populations. But supporters of the gillnet fishery note it is already monitored by federal authorities and question data in the report. “There are good regulations in place and the populations are strong,” said Jonathan Gonzales, president of the Ventura County Commercial Fishermen Association, adding that data show thresher shark populations are improving. “There is no overfishing like there once was. It’s really a success story.” “We see this report as highly sensational and grossly inaccurate,” said Diane Pleschner-Steele, executive director of the California Wetfish Producers Association. The California Fisheries and Seafood Institute — in a letter addressing a bill to eliminate gillnets — states 90 percent of the fish caught by nets in the swordfish fishery either go to market or are released alive. Read the story here 09:51

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