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drift net dangers


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#1 Leslie

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 10:58 AM

There's been a number of recent posts on <diver.net> about drift nets in the Huntington Flats area, San Pedro Channel, southern California. Some have included horrific images of dead sea lions, coromants, & other sea life caught up in the mesh. This message <http://diver.net/bbs...02/73565.shtml> is a good one to start with as it contains images & 2 divers' stories of getting caught in the nets. Drift nets are to pelagic species what fishing trawls & dredges are to benthic species: an indiscriminate source of destruction to everything in the area. Lost nets continue to kill if they end up stretched across rocks and coral reefs. Be careful if you come across any while diving & report them to the appropriate authority for immediate removal.

#2 danielandrewclem

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 02:59 PM

Awful.

Looks like a sink gillnet set for white sea bass. Illegal, since the inshore fishery was shut down a while back, IIRC.

If anybody ever has the misfortune of coming across one of these, I'd suggest getting the hell out of there ASAP, before you get entangled. BUT, if you happen to see any tags on the gear (usually on the anchor line or side of a net panel) that identify the permit. It won't be a name, it'll be a number. Write down the number and let NMFS or DFG or the USCG know about it.

I'm pretty sure most gillnet permits require the holder to place such tags on each panel of a gillnet. That way there's some chance of finding a lost net and/or finding the owner of lost/abandoned net.
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#3 Drew

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 08:15 PM

I've done 2 cleanups in asia with driftnets. One was over 500m long and stretched across a channel like a big net across a river. Incredible amount of dead /dying stuff in the nets. Took 20+ divers plus the Malaysian Navy to clean up that mess.
It's news like this that makes me want to dive with a knife in the BC again.
Then again I also see that in shark nets. :P

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