Drift gill nets, fiercely contested fishing gear used to snag swordfish and thresher sharks in deep waters off Southern California, would be largely banned under legislation authored by a South Bay state lawmaker.

Sen. Ben Allen, a Democrat whose district includes much of the Los Angeles County coastline, is drafting the final language of a bill that would halt state permits for drift gill nets and create a new state permitting system for alternative swordfish-catching gear that California fishery managers and researchers still are testing for commercial use.

Senate Bill 1114 would allow about 20 permitted fishers to continue using the nets but otherwise would grant new commercial swordfish-hunting permits only for deep-set buoy gear. Allen expects to release the bill’s final language Monday and introduce it to a Senate committee in April.

“We’re directing the Department of Fish and Wildlife to issue permits for the new gear, and to do it in a way that incentivizes it (for fishers),” Allen said. “The use of drift gill nets is harming a whole set of important sea life populations. We are the last state on the West Coast that still allows the use of these gill nets.”

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