Did you know that fishing-gear entanglement is the number one threat to endangered humpback whales and leatherback sea turtles off California's coast? Each year crab fishing lines end up wrapped around whales — trapping, exhausting and often drowning them. Sea turtles have been suffering the same fate.
Tell the California Department of Fish and Wildlife it's time to rein in these deadly lines and take advantage of innovative fishing gear that can avoid entanglements entirely.
After years of unnecessary deaths, California has finally proposed rules for the state's commercial Dungeness crab fishery that would lessen the entanglement risk for whales and sea turtles. For example, the rules would reduce the overlap where fishermen set crab traps and these migratory animals feed.
But that's not enough. The department must fully close specific areas of the ocean to crab fishing when increased numbers of whales and sea turtles are present. And it should advance the use of new "pop-up" (or "ropeless") gear that relies on acoustic technology and sits on the ocean floor — without ropes leading to the surface — until ready for retrieval.
Act now to support these promising new measures and help give wildlife a chance to thrive.