The bipartisan Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction Act (S. 906) to phase out large-scale driftnet fishing in federal waters off California is on its way to President Trump’s desk for his signature. The act will align commercial swordfish fishing in California with other U.S. and international swordfish fisheries by ending the use of mile-long large-mesh drift gillnets. Phasing out this indiscriminate gear and replacing it with a more sustainable fishing practice will result in increased economic benefits and less bycatch, including marine mammals, sea turtles and many recreationally important fish species.
The bill was authored in the Senate by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), and in the House by Reps. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.).