Drift net fishing problems [2022]

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Drift net fishing is a practice that has been condemned by environmental groups and governments around the world. Using giant nets often larger than half a mile, fishermen catch thousands of pounds of fish at once, but they also catch many non-targeted species like whales, dolphins and seabirds.

It’s neither practicable or profitable to release undesired marine creatures or halt fishing to sort the harvest. Every year, drift nets kill several endangered and protected creatures. China, Canada, and Spain continue this damaging behavior in international and coastal waters.

Drift net fishing problems

Drift nets are a particular type of fishing net that is often used in the North Pacific Ocean. They are highly effective at catching fish, but due to their size and design,they can also capture and kill a huge number of other aquatic animals that cannot be targeted by humans.

In fact, drift nets have been used in many parts of the world since ancient times because they are so effective at catching large amounts of fish quickly and efficiently—which means they can go through thousands or even millions of pounds worth of live product every day!.

Drift nets destroy many fish and otheraquaticspecies

Fish and other creatures may be captured in drift nets because of their design. They may be kilometers long and tens of meters deep, which makes them an efficient method for capturing a wide variety of species at the same time.

The issue with this is that the nets have the potential to kill hundreds of thousands of species in just a single day. Some of these animals do not even belong in the ocean, much less make any contribution to the food chain.

In 1989, the North Atlantic outlawed drift nets

In the North Pacific Ocean, drift nets are used to catch many species of fish and other animals. However, they have been banned in the North Atlantic since 1989. The ban was put in place because they were causing problems with marine life.

These are whales and dolphins that got trapped by these nets and died as a result.
There are many countries that use drift nets each year to catch various species of fish; however, they aren’t allowed in all areas due to their negative impact on conservation efforts.

Worldwide ban on high-seas drift net fishing

In 1992, the United States of America joined the United Nations in its call for a global ban on the practice of fishing using high-seas drift nets. This request was made in an effort to protect marine life and prevent overfishing.

It wasn’t until just two years later, in 2004, that the United States government joined the United Nations in calling for a global ban on high-seas drift net fishing; but, by that time, it was too late; by that time, tens of thousands of sea turtles had already perished.

What is the disadvantage in fishing with drift nets?

The usage of drift nets causes a significant by-catch of non-target fish, sharks, turtles, seabirds, and marine mammals, which are often thrown back into the ocean dead since they are not highly discriminating of species. Drift nets are a very damaging kind of fishing gear.

What problems do drift nets cause?

These pelagic driftnets are employed without restriction or moderation and are significantly longer than coastal gillnets. They are almost indestructible, not biodegradable, and “invisible” to fish and other creatures both audibly and visually. Fish, birds, and marine animals get up imprisoned and perish from a lack of oxygen as a consequence.

What is one of the environmentally damaging effects of drift net fishing?

For a long time, WWF has been deeply concerned about environmentally harmful fishing methods, such as large-scale driftnet fishing, which have a negative impact on marine ecosystems and reduce the sustainability of marine living resources.

Are drift nets illegal?

One of the numerous reasons driftnets are forbidden is because they often trap vulnerable and endangered marine wildlife including dolphins, whales, sharks, sea turtles, and other fish.

Where are drift nets legal?

Large mesh drift gillnets are already prohibited off the coastlines of Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Hawaii as well as in U.S. territorial waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. However, they are still permitted in federal seas off the Californian coast.

Italy and Spain utilize drift nets.

The process of fishing using drift nets involves setting big nets adrift on the open ocean so that the fish may be captured by their gills as they swim through the netting. This technique, which has been around since ancient times and was formerly widely employed all across the globe.

It is either outlawed or in the process of being phased out in most nations. However, both Italy and Spain continue to utilize the contentious practice of drift net fishing; they are among the very few nations that continue to engage in this kind of seafood harvesting.

Canada’s B.C. coast is amajor source of drift nets

Most drift nets used in the Pacific and North Atlantic come from the coast of British Columbia. In fact, Canada is one of the top five countries in the world that makes and sells this kind of dangerous fishing gear.

The widespread usage of drift nets in the South Pacific has contributed to the devastation of marine ecosystems as well as the extinction of sharks, dolphins, and sea turtles, amongst other species that were formerly common but are now extinct or on the brink of extinction.

The U.S. confiscated $9million in Chinese driftnets bound for Alaska

According to the International Law Enforcement Resource Foundation (ILRF), the government of the United States of America put a halt to the shipment of drift nets from China to Alaska in the years 1997 and 1998. These nets were destined for the Alaskan fishing industry.

It was thought that the value of these nets was nine million dollars at the time. The organization also claims that some of these unlawful nets were as long as three kilometers, which is equivalent to almost eight football fields in length.

All researchers criticize drift-net fishing

Everyone who has done study on fishing has arrived to the opinion that drift-net fishing ought to be forbidden, and this consensus has been reached across the board. The fishermen use a boat to drag a net behind it so that it catches everything in its path.

Then brings it to the top so that the fisherman can collect their catch. This kind of fishing is known as “trolling.” The length of the nets has been greatly increased, and their width has been increased significantly, so that they can cover the greatest possible area.

In addition

A single drift net may be several kilometers long and hundreds of meters deep. Drift nets can not distinguish between the types of animals that they collect; hence, they may be responsible for the deaths of fish, mammals, birds, and even sharks.

This includes not just the species that are meant to be captured, but also everything else that happens to be caught while the nets are traveling through the water column. This is because the nets move through the water column at a certain speed.


The United States of America joined the United Nations in its campaign for a worldwide ban on high-seas drift net fishing in the year 1992. The United States government stopped nine million dollars’ worth of drift nets from China that were being sent to Alaska between 1997 and 1998.

These two government efforts helped end a practice that was decimating fish schools in the Pacific Ocean. We should continue to work together as a country and global society to educate ourselves on issues like this so they don’t arise again and are swiftly remedied when they do.

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