Protect Whales - Ban Drift Gillnet Fishing

RESOLUTION 15-08.23

Protect Whales - Ban Drift Gillnet Fishing

WHEREAS, California's marine mammals, including the humpback and sperm whales, species designated for federal protection, are facing renewed danger of declining numbers by their exposure to now legal drift gillnets in which they become entangled before drowning; and

WHEREAS, the purpose of drift gillnets, sometimes more than a mile long, is intended for the capture of a single species; such as the thresher shark, leaving all other species of marine life caught in the nets considered "incidental takings" and discarded; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Department of Commerce at the behest of the National Marines Fisheries Service has approved a number of "incidental takings" permits allowing fishing companies who employ the use of drift gillnets in the pursuit of a single target species, such as the thresher shark, to operate in an increasingly fragile global marine ecosystem thereby posing a threat to California's dwindling fish and marine mammal populations;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the California Democratic Party opposes the use of drift gillnets by fishing companies and will support all means to outlaw such practices within California's 3-mile ocean boundary by appealing to the authorities of the California State Legislature, the California Department of Fish and Game, the Governor of California, and all concerned citizens; and

THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the California Democratic Party will urge the U.S. Department of Commerce to rescind "incidental take" permits that pose a threat to the health and diversity of California's fragile marine ecosystem and will enlist the support of our Democratic congressional delegation and our membership to bring this serious threat to the attention of the Executive Branch and the President of the United States.

Sponsored by CDP Region 15

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Adopted by the California Democratic Party
At its Summer/Fall 2015 E-board Meeting
Hyatt Regency
August 16, 2015

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