West Coast fishery managers on Monday adopted stringent regulations against California’s swordfish and thresher shark drift gillnet fishery, laying the framework to more aggressively limit its bycatch of endangered ocean species.
The Pacific Fishery Management Council voted unanimously to establish hard limits on the fishery, which is active off the coast of Southern California, by the summer of 2016. If anyone in the fishery overreaches the new bycatch limits, it would result in a complete shutdown for the rest of the season. Additionally, the council is seeking to have observers on every fishing boat to ensure the new bycatch limits aren’t breached.
The regulations come after increased public concern about the fishery, which according to some estimates kills an average of 100 marine mammals a year.