New Undercover Footage Reveals How Commercial Fishing Is Killing Our Oceans. Take Action!

After completing multiple undercover investigations on numerous commercial driftnet fishing boats, Mercy For Animals is sharing even more footage of blatant animal cruelty in the commercial fishing industry. MFA’s new hidden-camera exposé shows horrific abuse of marine life: 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; dolphins, sea lions, and seabirds trapped and killed in fishing nets; and animals left to slowly suffocate on the decks of commercial fishing boats.

MFA’s heartbreaking new video follows the release of disturbing undercover footage by MFA and other members of the End Driftnets Coalition. Released this April, the footage documents how marine animals—including dolphins, whales, and sea lions—are routinely trapped and killed in the commercial fishing industry’s driftnets.

Used in federal waters off the coast of California, driftnets can hang 100 feet into the ocean and stretch the length of the Golden Gate Bridge. Their capacity for trapping and killing marine life is immense. In the past decade alone, the few remaining driftnet boats operating off California’s coast have killed nearly 800 marine mammals, including endangered animals, such as the sperm whale. And for every one targeted fish caught by the driftnet fishing industry, about seven other marine animals are killed.

See for yourself:

The commercial fishing industry isn’t only responsible for widespread and blatant animal abuse; it’s also to blame for the rapid depletion of sea life. The industry kills an estimated 2.7 trillion wild fish each year around the world—but that number excludes “bycatch and fish caught by “ghost nets, which are lost or discarded nets that may continue to kill marine animals for several months or even years before eventually disintegrating. Driftnets are so devastating to ocean ecosystems that some experts believe we could see fishless oceans by 2048.


Thankfully, lawmakers are taking action. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris of California, along with Senator Shelley Moore Capito, have introduced U.S. Senate bill S. 2773 to ban cruel driftnets across the country.

If you live outside California, please take action now and tell your senators to support this bill.

If you live in California, your U.S. senators already support the federal bill, but we still need your help to call on the California legislature to pass SB 1017 to restrict the use of driftnets off California’s coast.

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 all the amazing vegan versions of seafood, such as Gardein’s fishless filets and crabless cakes. And click here for compassionate sea-inspired recipes.