Support a Bill to Buy Out Driftnet Fishing Permits

 

California’s driftnet fishery for swordfish harms a wide range of marine life, including whales and dolphins. This fishing method indiscriminately captures and drowns these animals. Alternative methods that have lower levels of bycatch exist.

 

Join us in taking this important first step in finally getting rid of this fishery.

 

Want more details on the bill? See notes at the bottom of this page

 

Please send the email below to your California Senator supporting a bill that would reduce the number of driftnets used to catch swordfish off California’s coast.

When you take this action, we will send you updates on this campaign and other work to protect marine wildlife and our oceans. You can opt out of our email list at any point.

About California Senate Bill 1017           

                               

  • SB 1017 will transition California away from one of the most harmful fishing practices on the West Coast by reducing the number of driftnets used to catch swordfish off California’s coast.
  • The bill implements a permit buyback program combined with incentives and tighter protective requirements that will lead to a phase out of the remaining state driftnet activity.
  • This bill will direct CDFW to implement hard cap management measures under state law. These hard caps were approved by the PFMC and proposed to become federal law but then were withdrawn by NOAA.
  • SB 1017 will incentivize California’s swordfish fishing industry to transition away from harmful drift gillnets to more sustainable gear types, such as deep-set buoy systems, by establishing a program to buy back state DGN permits with public and private funds.
  • The bill creates incentives for fishermen to take part in the program by giving buyback participants a free lifetime swordfish permit and putting additional requirements on the remaining DGN fleet, including increased permit fees.
  • The bill also requires CDFW to implement common-sense protective measures including requiring 100 percent observer coverage on boats using DGNs and adopting the hard cap requirement for the number of marine mammals and other sensitive species that may be caught in the fishery as recommended by the PFMC.               
  • The bill contains a tiered approach for the buyout program, offering active DGN permit holders who have landed fish in the last five seasons the highest value for their permit through a reverse sealed auction. Permit holders who have not landed fish in the last five seasons will be compensated at a flat rate, and fishermen who have not landed fish in the last 10 seasons will a receive a lower flat rate.
  • The fishermen who choose not to participate in the buyback program will be allowed to continue to use DGN gear but will not be allowed to sell or transfer the permit. These permit holders will be subject to increased permit fees, 100 percent observer requirements and hard caps on the catch of protected and sensitive species.