Whale Injuries From Drift Gillnets Off California Spark Lawsuit Against US

"LOS ANGELES - Environmentalists on Thursday sued the agency overseeing U.S. fisheries, claiming it had failed to protect endangered humpback whales from entanglement in drift gillnets - sprawling curtains of nylon mesh - used in commercial fishing off California.

The lawsuit accuses the National Marine Fisheries Service of violating the Endangered Species Act by allowing drift gillnets without safeguards and failing to take into account the harm posed to whales already at risk of extinction.

The suit, citing the government's own data, said an estimated 12 Pacific humpbacks were ensnared in drift gillnets during the past two fishing seasons off California, where the whales feed in spring and summer."

Steve Gorman reports for Reuters October 27, 2022.

Source: Reuters, 10/28/2022