April 8, 2019

CSF Supports Reducing Bycatch in the Pacific

On April 1, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation joined a diverse group of angling conservation and boating organizations in supporting Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction Act (S. 906), a bill that that would modernize commercial swordfish fishing standards in California.

Large-mesh drift gillnets are an outdated commercial fishing method that produce excessive bycatch and waste, including popular sportfish, marine mammals, and sea turtles. Over half of the catch in the California drift gillnet fishery is discarded as unwanted, prohibited, or protected species. In other U.S. and international fisheries, these gillnets have been replaced by methods like deep-set buoy gear that are efficient for the targeted species and produce virtually no bycatch.

S. 906 would phase out the use of large-mesh drift gillnets, bringing California in-line with national and international commercial swordfish fishing standards. The group submitted a letter of support to U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein and Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus Member Senator Shelley Moore Capito, the bill’s sponsors.

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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