Fishery Council Blocks Return of West Coast Longlines, Safeguarding Sea Turtles, Marine Mammals and Sharks
In November, the Pacific Fishery Management Council voted overwhelmingly not to pursue the return of a U.S. West Coast pelagic longline fishery. Pelagic longlines are a harmful fishing method that has been prohibited off the West Coast for decades due to excessive bycatch of unintended species including marine mammals, sea turtles, seabirds, marlins and sharks. Despite its dangers to marine life, there has been pressure on the Council to expand the use of pelagic longlines on the high seas. The Council’s decision is a major win for the oceans that resulted from continued pressure from Oceana and our allies – including birding and sport fishing communities, ecotourism operators, Members of Congress – for over a decade.