US government cancels new protection for whales from fishing nets on Pacific Coast

A new rule that would have limited the number of whales, dolphins and turtles being caught in fishing nets used to catch swordfish off the West Coast of the USA, has been cancelled by the new government.

Around 20 fishing vessels are involved in the fishery which use mile-long gillnets off the coasts of California and Oregon. The proposal, put forward by the fishing industry itself, would have allowed for the fishery to be closed for up to two seasons if too many whales, dolphins or turtles were being caught. However, the US National Marine Fisheries Service has now decided that existing measures, such as putting pingers on the nets, are already having a satisfactory impact and no further restrictions are necessary.

Breaching humpback whale
Breaching humpback whale