Tell the Pacific Fishery Management Council to Oppose Use of Pelagic Longlines off West Coast

The Pacific Fishery Management Council took the first step in authorizing pelagic longline fishing gear. After a hard won victory last fall that will transition California away from the drift gillnet fishery, we must not let one devastating fishing method be replaced by another equally destructive method.

Longline fishing methods set long lines up to 60 miles long with thousands of hooks that catch and kill marine life indiscriminately. Off the West Coast, longlines have been responsible for killing myriad marine species as bycatch, including endangered or threatened populations of Pacific leatherback and loggerhead sea turtles, albatrosses, and sharks.

Please sign your name to our petition calling on the Pacific Fishery Management Council to maintain their commitment to reduce the incidental killing of marine life and prohibit pelagic longline fishing gear off the West Coast.

Dear Pacific Fishery Management Council,

We are writing to express our strong opposition to the use of pelagic longline fishing gear off the West Coast. California is finally taking the right step and transitioning away from the drift gillnet fishery; we must not let one devastating fishing method be replaced by another equally destructive method.

Longlines are a particularly destructive fishing method: setting long lines up to 60 miles long with thousands of hooks that catch and kill marine life indiscriminately. Off the West Coast, longlines are responsible for killing myriad marine species as bycatch, including endangered or threatened populations of Pacific leatherback and loggerhead sea turtles, albatrosses, and sharks.

Current efforts to transition to less harmful fishing methods and using more selective gear instead of longlines has proven to reduce incidental killing and improve fishing efficiency, and must not be obstructed by authorization of pelagic longlines. For every single targeted swordfish, dozens more marine species are injured or killed as bycatch. We know that pelagic longline fishing gear is just as destructive as driftnets.

Please honor your commitment to reduce the incidental killing of marine life and prohibit the excessively harmful and destructive pelagic longline fishing gear. We expect the Council to protect our oceans and marine wildlife that inhabit them.

We ask that you vehemently oppose authorization of the use of pelagic longlines off the West Coast.

Thank you.