On February 7th, an assembly member of the California Legislature introduced California Assembly Bill 2220 that proposes regulatory changes to a handful of California commercial fisheries.  Among the regulatory changes is the extension of the currently established Marine Resources Protection Zone, where fishing with gillnets and trammel nets is prohibited, to include all of California state waters.  In effect, this bill would ban commercial fishing with gillnets and trammel nets in all of coastal California out to the state/federal waters border.

Gillnets and trammel nets are often miles long net walls set in the water for up to weeks at a time that catch and kill marine life indiscriminately.  There is very little selectivity to the hear, and their high bycatch rates and high mortality rates to non-target ocean wildlife has led them to be banned in many fisheries globally.  This type of regulatory amendment is not even new in California which has previously banned the authorization of new drift gillnet permits in offshore pelagic fisheries, including swordfish, and set a timeline for the transition from the gear to more selective fishing practices.

Read the proposed amendment below and read more on our work in supporting the transition from drift gillnets to deep-set buoy gear in the California swordfish fishery.