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Emergency Rules Implemented to Protect Endangered Sperm Whales from California Drift Gillnets

Emergency Rules Implemented to Protect Endangered Sperm Whales from California Drift Gillnets

September, 2013

On September 3, the National Marine Fisheries Service issued emergency regulations that will shut down California’s drift gillnet fishery if a single endangered sperm whale is caught. The fishery kills more whales and other marine mammals than any other fishery along the U.S. West Coast and has one of the highest bycatch rates in the country. These rules will also require independent observers on all drift gillnet vessels operating in offshore waters deeper than 6,500 feet. The rules will be enforced by requiring new vessel monitoring systems tracking the locations of all drift gillnet vessels off the U.S. West Coast.  

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