California News

California Lawmakers Move To Ban Mile-Long Fishing Nets

NBC Los Angeles-

Environmentalists scored a major victory in Sacramento Thursday after California lawmakers overwhelmingly voted to phase out the use of a controversial type of fishing gear known as drift gillnets: mile-long nets blamed for unintentionally killing thousands of sea creatures, including endangered animals.

Over the past 28 years, drift gillnets have entangled and killed an estimated 4,000 dolphins, 456 whales and 136 sea turtles, according to government data obtained from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Organization. The federal agency, which regulates the fishing gear, randomly places observers on about 20 percent of all fishing trips that utilize the gear in an effort to document the environmental impact.

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