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California may soon unravel controversial nets used to harvest swordfish

by Alastair Bland 9 Nov 2018 06:37 UTC
Swordfish like this one, sunning itself off the coast of Ventura, Calif. have traditionally been caught in drift gillnets. But ocean activists say the method is unsustainable because it captures too many other sea creatures. © Douglas Klug / Getty Images

Ocean activists seem to be on the eve of winning a long battle against a controversial type of fishing gear that has been banned in most of world's oceans. But many fishermen are not ready to let go of what has been a reliable method for catching valuable swordfish.

A federal court ruling last week could lead to strict limits on using drift gillnets in California, one of the last places where the gear is still allowed. Drift gillnets are used to snag swordfish but prone to ensnaring other sea life, too. The court decision comes weeks after the state's governor signed a law that would phase the nets out of use over the next few years.

Todd Steiner, an environmentalist who has fought for stricter regulations on drift gillnets since the 1990s, believes the time has come to ban them everywhere.

To read more please go to the original article.

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