Victory | June 29, 2021
California Funding Protects Whales, Dolphins, and Sea Turtles from Deadly Drift Gillnets
California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a new budget that included $1.3 million to get deadly drift gillnets out of the water. This destructive form of fishing is notorious for its indiscriminate catch of marine life including whales, dolphins, and sea turtles. In September 2020, Oceana delivered $1 million to begin to phase out the last large-mesh drift gillnet fishing for swordfish in the U.S. by January 2024 as outlined in a 2018 California state law. The law establishes a voluntary transition program for fishermen to surrender nets and state permits and incentivizes the use of cleaner gear. To date 50% of active fishermen have been compensated for turning in nets and permits, representing 20 miles of nets out of the water. Oceana continues to campaign for a federal law to end the use of large mesh drift gillnets nationwide.