Help save California’s dolphins from a destructive fishery

California’s driftnet fishery captures and drowns dolphins, whales and other marine life.

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

Send an email today to your California State Assemblymember demanding action to end driftnets off our coast.

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About California Senate Bill 1017           

                               

  • SB 1017 passed the California Senate by a vote of 32-0, and now needs to pass the Assembly before reaching the Governor's desk.
  • 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 These hard caps were approved by the PFMC and proposed to become federal law but then were withdrawn by NOAA.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.