This image of a shark caught in a drift gill net is part of a video by activists who advocate to banning the nets. (Courtesy of the Turtle Island Restoration Project.) A state measure to phase out drift-net fishing in California waters — and remove a hazard that can inadvertently trap sea lions, dolphins and turtles — was signed into law Thursday by Gov. Jerry Brown. The nets, used primarily to catch swordfish, can extend for a mile or more and sweep up whatever sea animals are in their path. The bill by state Sen. Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica, is intended to encourage fishing that poses less of a threat to sea mammals. It calls for an end to drift-net fishing in four years, paying $100,000 to fishermen who surrender their nets and $10,000 for those who turn in their permits. Activists have been pushing for an end to drift-net fishing for years. “This is literally an enormous net benefit for endangered whales, sea turtles and other marine life, as well as to responsible fishermen, coastal communities and seafood consumers,” said Susan Murray, deputy vice president of the conservation group Oceana. “There is no longer room in our oceans […]


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