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Breaking! California Senate Just Voted to Phase Out Deadly Driftnets

Good news! Just weeks after Mercy For Animals and the Ban Death Nets coalition released shocking undercover footage of the commercial driftnet fishing industry, the California State Senate passed SB 1017 to phase out the use of driftnets. The bill passed with a landslide vote of 33 to zero and is now on its way to the California State Assembly.

If passed by the California State Assembly and signed by Governor Jerry Brown, SB 1017 will spare the lives of countless marine animals. Driftnets used in federal waters off the coast of California can stretch over a mile long and hang up to 100 feet deep into the ocean, indiscriminately trapping and killing numerous animals each year. It’s estimated that for every one targeted fish caught by the driftnet fishing industry, seven other marine animals are killed.

In the past decade alone, thousands of marine animals have been killed by the few remaining driftnet boats operating off California’s coast, including endangered and protected animals, such as sperm whales and sea turtles.The cruelty is unimaginable.

MFA’s new hidden-camera exposé shows workers repeatedly bludgeoning sharks over the head with a baseball bat, sharks viciously cut apart and stabbed while still alive and able to feel pain, and animals left to slowly suffocate on the decks of commercial fishing boats.

See for yourself:


SB 1017’s passage in the California State Senate marks major progress for oceans and the animals who live in them, but we’re not finished yet. MFA is closely following the progression of this bill, and we’re going to need your help to get it passed by the California State Assembly. If you live in California, sign up for our email action alerts today so you don’t miss your chance to call on your assembly members to pass SB 1017.

And remember, the best way to protect fish and other marine animals is to leave them off your plate. Learn more about switching to a compassionate plant-based diet to prevent cruelty to all animals used for food. Then check out Gardein’s fishless filets and crabless cakes, and click here for compassionate sea-inspired recipes.